Playing Monterey Peninsula, Dustin Johnson had a rough day Thursday to open the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Johnson struggled mightily on the greens.
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“Must have had 40 putts,” he groaned.
Not quite. The stats had him for 34, but there were two three-putts and one ugly four-putt at the par-3 ninth hole. Johnson said he jammed his uphill putt 3 feet past the hole, then blew that one 3 feet by. For good measure, he missed again.
Throw in a double at the par-4 sixth and three other bogeys, and Johnson’s round of 3-over-par 73 leaves him in a share of 125th, a whopping nine back.
Hardly the sort of stuff one would have expected from Johnson, though it hardly seemed to matter to his gallery. Whether they were there to see the two-time winner here or to watch his playing partner, Wayne Gretzky, or Johnson’s significant other these days, Paulina Gretzky, there were plenty of eyes on them all a day.
Fortunately, said Johnson, Gretzky was doing what he made a career out of in the NHL — great assistance.
“He played great. He carried me,” Gretzky said, though he added that there wasn’t much hockey talk out there.