Dustin Johnson gets Masters reality check during first round

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Dustin Johnson knew this wasn’t going to be easy. Three days of practice rounds on the hard-and-fast fairways and greens at Augusta National made it pretty clear entering

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Dustin Johnson knew this wasn’t going to be easy.

Three days of practice rounds on the hard-and-fast fairways and greens at Augusta National made it pretty clear entering Thursday’s opening round of 85th Masters that the record 20-under-par winning score he posted in November wasn’t going to be attainable.

That didn’t make the 2-over-par 74 Johnson posted Thursday in defense of his title any easier to swallow.

“Yeah, the conditions are definitely different,’’ Johnson said. “The course is a little bit firmer and faster. But it’s still the same golf course. Playing definitely a lot tougher just because, when the greens are firm and fast here, the golf course plays difficult. Then you add the wind in today (and) it made it play really difficult.’’

Johnson had his round in red numbers, getting to 1-under par through 14, but a bogey on the par-5 15th and a double on the 18th left him 2-over for the day.

Only three players in Masters history have repeated, the last being Tiger Woods in 2001. Johnson insisted he felt no added pressure Thursday.

“If anything, I’m a little more relaxed out there,’’ he said. “It just played tough. I felt like I played pretty well too, or got it around pretty well. Obviously, the last hole kind of stings a little bit. I feel like I’m swinging well, playing good. Looking forward to the rest of the week.’’

This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Mark Cannizzaro

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