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The Open 2015: Near-misses won't affect Dustin Johnson's ambitions

By Phil Casey

Published 14/07/2015

So close: Dustin Johnson has led on the final day of several Majors but has yet to manage to cross the line for victory
So close: Dustin Johnson has led on the final day of several Majors but has yet to manage to cross the line for victory

American Dustin Johnson insists he has what it takes to win a Major despite his latest near-miss raising more questions about his temperament to get the job done.

A month ago the 31-year-old had a 12-footer to win the US Open but three-putted to hand victory to Masters champion Jordan Spieth, a result which kept alive his hopes of an unprecedented single-season Grand Slam heading into this week's Open Championship.

Johnson has previous in this regard, having squandered a three-stroke lead on the final day of the 2010 US Open to lose to Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell and, two months later, missing a play-off at the US PGA after incurring a two-stroke penalty for grounding his club in a bunker having teed off at the final hole one shot ahead.

In 2011, in the Open at Royal St George's, Johnson was in contention once again entering the back nine on the final day but his chance evaporated when he drove out of bounds on the 14th.

Four years passed without major incident until his aberration on the 18th at Chambers Bay, but Johnson is adamant he does not bear any scars from his latest brush with greatness.

"I think it's very good, very positive. It gives me the confidence to know I have what it takes to win," he commented.

"I think I showed that at the US Open. Coming down the back nine I was hitting the shots that I wanted to hit: unfortunately the ball wasn't bouncing in the hole.

"I think every situation you can learn from, it just depends on the way you want to look at it.

"I try to look at them all as learning opportunities. Each one helps me get closer to actually getting a Major."

Johnson has been drawn alongside Spieth and Hideki Matsuyama for the opening two rounds at St Andrews and the big-hitting Ryder Cup star is determined to bring Spieth's quest for history to an end this week.

Selected tee times for Thursday:

0738: Marc Warren (Eng), Liang Wen-Chong (Chn), Padraig Harrington (Ire)

0749: John Daly (USA), Jason Dufner (USA), Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa)

0844: Tom Lehman (USA), Bernhard Langer (Ger), Justin Leonard (USA)

0911: Martin Kaymer (Ger), Jimmy Walker (USA), Adam Scott (Aus)

0933: Matt Kuchar (USA), Phil Mickelson (USA), Henrik Stenson (Swe)

0944: Justin Rose (Eng), Sir Nick Faldo (Eng), Rickie Fowler (USA)

1250: Kevin Streelman (USA), Retief Goosen (Rsa), Shane Lowry (Ire)

1323: Oliver Schniederjans (USA), Graeme McDowell (NI), Webb Simpson (USA)

1334: Ernie Els (Rsa), Tom Watson (USA), Brandt Snedeker (USA)

1401: Charl Schwartzel (Rsa), Ian Poulter (England), Bubba Watson (USA)

1412: Sergio Garcia (Spa), Patrick Reed (USA), Lee Westwood (Eng)

1423: Darren Clarke (NI), Matteo Manassero (Ita), Romain Langasque (Fra)

1434: Dustin Johnson (USA), Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn), Jordan Spieth (USA)

1456: Tiger Woods (USA), Jason Day (Aus), Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa)

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