CROMWELL, Conn. – Before the start of the Travelers Championship, Dustin Johnson said that he needed to work on his putting. He’s also trying to figure things out with the driver.
Johnson returned to the driver that he won the Masters with last November, putting the TaylorMade SIM model back in bag for Thursday’s opening round of the Travelers Championship. The switch was first noticed by Golf.com’s Jonathan Wall, who noted that Johnson also went back to his old shaft, a Fujikura Speeder 661X.
Last week at the U.S. Open, Johnson was using a SIM2, which he first began playing at Kapalua to start the year.
The initial driver change coincided with a drop in strokes gained: off-the-tee for Johnson, who ranked 10th in that category on Tour to end last year but fell all the way to 63rd right before this spring’s Masters. Since then, Johnson was improved to 19th, but for a guy who was ranked either first or second every year from 2015 to ’18, the latest switch proves the former world No. 1 still believes he has work to do off the tee.
Johnson did not talk to reporters after his even-par 70 on Thursday at TPC River Highlands, where he ranked 127th in strokes gained: off-the-tee. Johnson hit eight of 14 fairways, though he did find five of seven on a front nine in which he shot 2-over 37.
Johnson made three birdies and shot 2-under 33 on the back despite finding just three fairways.