Johnson back at tourney

The Associated Press
Pete Iacobelli

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C.–Dustin Johnson is not satisfied with his Masters’ history, no matter how many top-10 finishes he posts at Augusta National.
The top-ranked Johnson wound up 10th in last week’s major–his third-straight appearance in the top 10 on the challenging layout.
“I definitely expect better,” Johnson said yesterday in prepping for this week’s RBC Heritage.
“I felt like I played well enough to win last week.”
The problem was simple enough to identify: watching putts not fall in.
“The thing that’s most frustrating is it wasn’t that I was hitting bad putts,” Johnson remarked.
“I was actually hitting good putts, they just weren’t going in.”
Johnson hopes to remedy that at Harbour Town Golf Links, a place the South Carolina native has not played professionally since 2009.
Johnson, who’s won a PGA Tour event in 11-straight seasons, typically took a vacation after the Masters to shake off the stress that comes with the first major.
But as a newly-signed golf ambassador to title sponsor RBC, “I’ll be back here for the next few years,” he noted.
A popular theory about Johnson’s absence at Harbour Town was his length off the tee and strength made him a bad fit for architect Pete Dye’s narrow fairways and small greens.
One of the PGA Tour’s tightest courses puts a premium on shot location versus 350-yard drives.
But Johnson proved that theory wrong with birdies on 10 of the last 17 holes in yesterday’s pro-am.
“Last time I checked, he’s the No. 1 golfer in the world. He is the best golfer on the planet,” said Wesley Bryan, the RBC Heritage’s defending champion and Johnson’s former high school teammate.
“So as long as we’re playing the game of golf, I think that he’s got a good chance of winning anywhere he tees it up.”
Canada’s Adam Hadwin, who finished tied for 24th at the Masters last week, has withdrawn from the RBC Heritage.
Hadwin is ranked 41st in the world and has finished in the top 10 in three of his previous eight tournaments.
In an e-mail to The Canadian Press, agent George Sourlis said Hadwin withdrew due to a personal matter and planned to return for the May 3-6 Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, N.C.