News from the world – AU – Golf: No. 1 Johnson returns after Covid-19 as masters loom


WASHINGTON – Premier Dustin Johnson, who spent 11 days battling boredom in a hotel room after contracting Covid-19, returns to the PGA Houston Open on Thursday while preparing for the Masters of next week

The 36-year-old American missed the CJ Cup and Zozo tournaments last month after contracting the deadly virus, interrupting a string of strong plays and pushing him to play ahead of a major showdown at Augusta National

« I was happy with the way I was playing I was very consistent and I love the way I hit him, » said Johnson, who won PGA Player of the Year honors.

« I had a lot more time than I wanted to come to Augusta and so for me it’s just a little bit to be here, to train and to have reps because I had certainly not planned to have so much free time « 

After victories at the Northern Trust and the Tour Championship, as well as a second place finish in the PGA Championship and a share of sixth in the US Open, Johnson was defeated by virus-enforced quarantine

« It wasn’t that bad », he said « I wasn’t really sick I felt like I had a cold for a few days and after that I didn’t So I was enough asymptomatic A little tired and things like that, but I couldn’t really tell if it was because I was stuck in a hotel room for 11 days without doing anything or if it was COVID that got me make you feel that

« I didn’t leave the room for 11 days, I was just lying there doing nothing It was one of those things almost too I was waiting to get sick but for me it was very sweet and obviously I’m very grateful « 

« It was harder than being sick Obviously being stuck in a room for 11 days is no fun, » Johnson said « I watched TV a lot, but even then I have nothing more to watch It was really boring I didn’t leave the room The most movement I made was in the shower »

« This definitely puts a key in your plans I had a lot more free time than expected, » Johnson said

« It was a little over two weeks before I started training again The first day I didn’t hit balls for very long because I was a little tired Then somehow practiced a a little more each day It’s going pretty well so far

Johnson said he did not know how he contracted Covid-19 after all of his close contacts tested negative

Last year’s Masters finalist effort against Tiger Woods has Johnson thrilled with his chances this year

« The last two Masters I’ve played well and been in contention, » he said « I love to play golf I think it’s going well for me I love playing in the Masters « 

« It’s not really different, » he said « I feel like I’ve always had a bit of a target »

Brooks Koepka, a four-time major winner who shared second at last year’s Masters but struggled with hip and knee pain in 2020, is also playing this week

« I feel great I feel as great as ever I need a few reps just because I feel like it’s been so long, » he said « I’m fine physically Everything looks solid and I can actually do whatever I want to do »

Masters Tournament, PGA TOUR, Augusta National Golf Club, Dustin Johnson, Tiger Woods

News from the world – AU – Golf: No 1 Johnson returns after Covid-19 as Masters loom



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