Dustin Johnson Shoots 3rd-Round 73, Fails to Make Charge at Players Championship

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2021

Dustin Johnson watches his tee shot on the ninth hole during the second round of the The Players Championship golf tournament Friday, March 12, 2021, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
John Raoux/Associated Press

Dustin Johnson's pedestrian week at the 2021 Players Championship continued Saturday as he only mustered a one-over 73 in the third round at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

Johnson entered the third round well off the pace after shooting a 73 in the first round and 70 in the second round. Upon entering the clubhouse Saturday, Johnson was nine shots behind tournament leaders Lee Westwood and Paul Casey with an overall score of even par.

The world No. 1 was never quite able to get anything going Saturday, carding four birdies, three bogeys, one double-bogey and 10 pars on the round.

It initially looked as though Johnson could make a charge in the third round after birdying the par-five second, but after bogeys on each of the next two holes, he found himself playing catch-up the rest of the round.

While Johnson did manage to make the turn at even par for the day after a birdie on No. 7, one of the toughest holes in golf scuppered his chances of a below-par round.

Johnson seemed to have hit a near-perfect tee shot that went off the flag stick, but instead of the ball going into the hole or settling near it, it caromed into the water:


.@DJohnsonPGA goes right at the pin on 17 ... and into the water. 💦 https://t.co/DaBfMQCdxQ

As a result, Johnson had to settle for a tough-luck double bogey, marking his second score of bogey or worse on the hole during the tournament.

Jason Sobel of Action Network took the opportunity to crack at joke at Johnson's expense by playing off Tiger Woods' famous "better than most" putt on No. 17 during the 2001 Players Championship:

Jason Sobel @JasonSobelTAN

Dustin Johnson just hit the flagstick on 17 and his ball caromed into the water. Wetter than most.

Following his round, Johnson commented on the bad break, telling Golf Channel's Rex Hoggard: "That sums up my week right there."

While Johnson has been among the best players in the world for the past several years, a Players Championship victory continues to elude him.

The two-time major champion has a victory under his belt this season, winning the Saudi International last month, but he has struggled of late, finishing 54th in the recent WGC-Workday Championship and finding himself far down the leaderboard in the Players Championship.

Although the 36-year-old isn't in ideal form, he still has a bit of time left to find his groove before attempting to defend his Masters title next month.