Dustin Johnson is coming into the U.S. Open on the back of a confidence boost as he bids to regain the title he won in 2016.
Johnson claimed victory at the St Jude Classic in Memphis last week, a triumph that took him back to world number one and gave him momentum going into the second major of the year at Shinnecock Hills.
"I had a lot on the line on Sunday. I knew it. I knew if I go out and win the golf tournament, I go back to number one," Johnson told a media conference. "To go out and play the way I did, you know, especially on the back nine was definitely a big confidence boost for me coming into this week."
The 33-year-old holed out on the 18th to put him five shots clear of his closest competitor and earn him his second win of the 2018 season. No player has ever won the week directly before the U.S. Open and gone on to win the major event, but that is of no concern to Johnson.
"I felt like at the Memorial [Tournament] it was really good. It's been good for the last couple months. I just wasn't getting a whole lot out of it," he added.
"So that's why I wanted to keep playing, and I felt like it was close, and, you know, that's why I decided to go to Memphis and play. I think it was a pretty good decision."
Johnson will tee off Thursday alongside Tiger Woods and the man he deposed as number one, Justin Thomas, in a grouping he is relishing.
"I like it. I think it's going to be fun," Johnson said. "I like playing with J.T. I like playing with Tiger. We'll have a big gallery out there. It will be a lot of fun on Thursday afternoon when we tee it up."
Johnson endured a difficult title defence last year, missing the cut after shooting 75 and 73 in the first two rounds. He took a while to get going after suffering a freak injury at the Masters earlier in the season and his performance suffered at several subsequent events.
However, now back to full fitness, he is looking to become the 22nd player to win multiple U.S. Opens.
"I feel like right now, my game's in very good shape," Johnson said. "I feel like I got a lot of confidence in it, and I feel like I can play this golf course well. And then, you know, it definitely would be awesome to get my second major."
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