Highest-ranked player in the field and the pre-tournament betting favorite cites a back injury as he exits after 1 round in Twin Cities
78: First-round score for Dustin Johnson, who cited a back injury in withdrawing Thursday from the PGA Tour’s 3M Open in Blaine, Minn. At No. 4 in the Official World Golf Ranking, Johnson was the highest-ranked player in the field at TPC Twin Cities and the pre-tournament betting favorite. With his 7-over score, Johnson is 23 over par in his past three rounds on the PGA Tour, after he shot 80-80 and missed the cut last week at the Memorial Tournament. Curiously, in his previous start, three weeks earlier at the Travelers Championship, Johnson shot 19 under in winning his 21st Tour title. Through six holes Thursday in Minnesota, Johnson was 1 under before things quickly unraveled. A bogey at the 16th, his seventh hole after starting on the back side, preceded a watery double bogey at the 17th. On the 18th, while trying to reach the 596-yard par 5 in two with a 6-iron, he plunked three balls into the water and made a quadruple-bogey 9. After two more bogeys on the next eight holes, he finished by holing a 19-foot birdie putt at the par-4 ninth. “I feel like I'm driving it well,” he told PGATour.com, “but the iron play, first six or seven holes hit it close and then the rest of the day kind of struggled a little bit with iron play. Kind of the same last week. I just struggled with my iron play and makes it difficult.” (scores)
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