Dustin Johnson does not like major championship Sunday’s.
The long-hitting American, who a month ago threw away the US Open, produced yet another Sunday stumble at the Old Course with a dismal three-over-par 75.
Starting with the lead at 10 under and seeing just about everyone on the course early tearing a soft and benign Old Course to shreds in front of him, Johnson produced the second worst score of 80 players left in the field and now sits five shots off the pace.
Granted this major Sunday wasn’t like most as it was only round three of the British Open but once again the 31-year-old found a way to falter when greatness beckoned.
Johnson has won a US PGA tour event every year since turning pro in 2008 but has struggled to keep his composure at the majors despite several strong starts.
He had a three-shot lead heading into the final day of the 2010 US Open and shot 82 and he stood on the 18th tee of the 2010 PGA Championship with a one-stroke lead only to ground his club in a bunker, take a two-stroke penalty and miss a playoff.
In the 2011 British Open he was in the final group with Darren Clarke and in the mix until hitting a ball out of bounds late and last month he had a 12-foot eagle putt to win the US Open but missed it as well as the short birdie putt that followed.
Asked if he was stunned at his meltdown this time around Johnson played a straight bat and admitted the first 11 holes of the Old Course, where he was one over, would never play easier.
“Yeah, I mean, a little bit (stunned). I felt like I was playing pretty good,” Johnson said.
“Obviously today is the easier of the three days that we’ve played golf by quite a few shots.
“I played the worst round, and I don’t feel like I played that bad. It’s definitely frustrating.
“(I)Just couldn’t hole the putts. I felt like I was hitting good putts. They just weren’t going in the hole. There’s nothing you can really do about that. I was trying, but it was just one of those days.”
He wasn’t yet prepared to give up. He knows better than most wild things happen in final rounds.
“I’m going to have to put together a special round tomorrow to have a chance,” he said.
“But I’ll definitely be way out before the leaders, so get out early and get off to a really good start maybe, you never know what happens. Anything can happen.”
He’s proven that many times.