AmericaDustin Johnson still scored round -1 on par71 despite playing with a wooden stick, due to a driver failure just before entering the first round of Northern Trust, on August 19.

The event took place at Liberty National Stadium, New York, opening a series of three playoffs to finalize the FedEx Cup final results of the PGA Tour 2020-2021.

Johnson is the defending champion and the season-long race with a $60 million prize pool of which $15 million goes to the winner.

But just minutes before joining the Northern Trust, Johnson discovered a crack in the driver’s head. The law allows for a new tree, but he doesn’t have a spare while sponsor TaylorMade’s technical logistics vehicle is on its way to next week’s BMW Championship match.

Therefore, Johnson had to use the number 3 wooden stick for the hole. This tree is redundant and brand new with a 14.5-degree face. He used it for the first time and kept par on the 8th, par5.

Johnson plays with a 3 wooden club with 14.5 degrees on the 8 . hole

Johnson played with a 3 wooden stick with 14.5 degrees on hole 8, Liberty National.

Therefore, Johnson’s set of 14 real battle sticks on the first day of the tournament included a pair of number 3 woods, including the 18-degree common tree.

“Three wood in the private car is useful in times of need. I haven’t tried it yet, but thanks to it, the round is fine,” commented Johnson of the stick in case the round is over.

On the PGA Tour, Johnson is always in the top 10 with fares. This season, he is 8th, averaging 313.2 yards. Lacking his forte at the Northern Trust yesterday, the American golfer hit 300 yards in two holes and recorded the average distance of the first hole, hit nine of the 14 fairways and went to the green according to the 10-hole standard. Excluding the four par3 holes, he averaged 285.6 yards. With these professional performances, Johnson scored four birdies and three bogeys.

Johnson is standing at T34, 7 strokes behind the T1 of Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm after the first round of Northern Trust.  Photo: The Memphis Commercial Appeal

Johnson is standing at T34, 7 strokes behind the T1 of Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm after the first round of Northern Trust. Photo: The Memphis Commercial Appeal

At the end of the opening round, Johnson promptly tried a new driver thanks to Keith Sbarbaro – TaylorMade representative. He received a report about a technical problem from a major brand ambassador while playing golf about a half-hour drive from Liberty National. So Sbarbaro ran right into a PGA Tour-branded golf store and found a 10.5-degree SIM2 driver. Used, but in good condition with Johnson.

Johnson is ranked second in the world (OWGR table), behind Jon Rahm. On this chart, he accumulated 135 weeks of holding the top position, ranking third in terms of time in office. Above Johnson is Greg Norman with 331 weeks while Tiger Woods holds the record 683 weeks.

Johnson has won 24 PGA Tour championships, nine European Tour cups, including two majors – US Open 2016 and Masters 2020.

Quoc Huy

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