Dustin Johnson needed a couple of days to shake off the rust at the Wells Fargo Championship but the world number one's play over the last 36 holes took him within a shot of a playoff and proved there are no lingering effects from a fall that ruled him out of last month's Masters.
In his first event since suffering a badly bruised back on the eve of the Masters, Johnson's bid to become the fifth player on the PGA Tour to win four consecutive starts was thwarted when Brian Harman sank a 30-foot birdie at the final hole on Sunday.
Despite the disappointment of the runner-up finish at Eagle Point in Wilmington, North Carolina, the 32-year-old heads to Florida for this week’s Players Championship in ominous form.
“The first couple of days I was (rusty),” said Johnson, who made the halfway cut with not a stroke to spare after a second-round 75, before stringing together a pair of 67s over the weekend.
“I didn’t know what to expect this week. The first couple of days I didn’t play that great but really played nicely on Saturday and Sunday so I’m happy with where the game is going into next week."
The 2016 U.S. Open winner, who had been the favourite at Augusta before slipping on a staircase and landing heavily on his back, said he came into the Wells Fargo cold but was pleased with how he held up physically after the lay-off.
"I didn’t really get to practise leading into this tournament ... so most of my practise I’ve done since I’ve been here,” he said.
“Physically, I’m really good. Everything’s 100 percent, feeling great. I can swing at it, no problems,” he said.
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford)