Dustin Johnson is coming into the U.S. Open on the back of a confidence boost as he bids to regain the title he won in 2016.
Johnson claimed victory at the St Jude Classic in Memphis last week, a triumph that took him back to world number one and gave him momentum going into the second major of the year at Shinnecock Hills.
"I had a lot on the line on Sunday. I knew it. I knew if I go out and win the golf tournament, I go back to number one," Johnson told a media conference. "To go out and play the way I did, you know, especially on the back nine was definitely a big confidence boost for me coming into this week."
The 33-year-old holed out on the 18th to put him five shots clear of his closest competitor and earn him his second win of the 2018 season. No player has ever won the week directly before the U.S. Open and gone on to win the major event, but that is of no concern to Johnson.
"I felt like at the Memorial [Tournament] it was really good. It's been good for the last couple months. I just wasn't getting a whole lot out of it," he added.
"So that's why I wanted to keep playing, and I felt like it was close, and, you know, that's why I decided to go to Memphis and play. I think it was a pretty good decision."
Johnson will tee off Thursday alongside Tiger Woods and the man he deposed as number one, Justin Thomas, in a grouping he is relishing.
"I like it. I think it's going to be fun," Johnson said. "I like playing with J.T. I like playing with Tiger. We'll have a big gallery out there. It will be a lot of fun on Thursday afternoon when we tee it up."
Johnson endured a difficult title defence last year, missing the cut after shooting 75 and 73 in the first two rounds. He took a while to get going after suffering a freak injury at the Masters earlier in the season and his performance suffered at several subsequent events.
However, now back to full fitness, he is looking to become the 22nd player to win multiple U.S. Opens.
"I feel like right now, my game's in very good shape," Johnson said. "I feel like I got a lot of confidence in it, and I feel like I can play this golf course well. And then, you know, it definitely would be awesome to get my second major."
18. Juni 2018
|Defiant Jones confident of upturn in England fortunes|
|Pogba a natural leader for France - Matuidi|
|Frampton to face Jackson as Fury continues comeback in Belfast|
|Team effort needed for Japan to stop James, says Nishino|
|BREAKING NEWS: Di Francesco extends Roma contract|
|It was a normal challenge - Switzerland equaliser fine by Shaqiri|
|Hamilton hopes to avoid ´boring´ French Grand Prix|
|Coutinho expects more Neymar punishment at World Cup|
|Cisse hails Mane as ´one of the best players in the world´|
|Forsberg falls flat as Granqvist proves Sweden´s hero|
|Sweden 1 South Korea 0: Granqvist´s VAR-assisted penalty settles tight game|
|Nishino concerned Japan players affected by Osaka earthquake|
|Isco pleased with Lopetegui´s Real Madrid appointment|
|Hazard hints at Real Madrid interest|
|Wasps disappointed as Wilson joins Scotland backroom staff|
|Hierro has full confidence in De Gea|
|Russia will stop Salah - Cherchesov|
|Allen signs new four-year Stoke contract|
|England issue update over injured duo Stokes and Woakes|
|Mancini leaves door open for Buffon´s Italy return|
|Alli calls for England to be ruthless in World Cup opener|
|Tahir rested as Proteas call up uncapped duo|
|Uruguay v Saudi Arabia: Centurion Suarez seeks World Cup redemption|
|Portugal v Morocco: Hat-trick hero Ronaldo hunts stricken Atlas Lions|
|Argentina didn´t draw because of Messi´s missed penalty - Maradona|
|Wenger heaps praise on France star Kante|
|If VAR helps referees, I´m not against that – Australia´s Sainsbury|
|Kimmich questions Germany mentality after shock defeat|
|Roberts to leave Warrington Wolves|
|Australia talent Arzani ready to make the jump from A-League|
|Lewandowski: I can be at the top until I´m 35|
|All Blacks winger Savea confirms Toulon switch|
|Free Fall available for France after red card rescinded|
|South Korea can progress from wide-open group, says Park Ji-sung|
|Gordon called up by Wallabies to replace injured Genia|
|Germany can still win World Cup, insists Werner|
|Man United & Real Madrid talk not affecting Milinkovic-Savic|
|Out-of-contract Ruiz focused on Costa Rica|
|Southgate will not bombard England with last-minute instructions|
|Muller: Germany under extreme pressure|
|Rangers score four runs in ninth to pick up walk-off win over Rockies|
|U.S. Open champion Koepka happy to continue being ´overlooked´|
|Pogba: I´m the most criticised player in the world|
|Maradona: Sampaoli´s game plan against Iceland was a disgrace|
|De Gea will bounce back from error – Marchena|
|Slater named for Maroons return|
|Woods, Faldo, Harrington and Koepka – U.S. Open champion joins fine club after successful defence|
|Fleetwood positive despite falling short at U.S. Open|
|Jesus: I had no reason to play for a penalty|
|Hernandez admits to exaggerating fouls against Australia|
|Koepka says winning two U.S. Opens not even in his ´wildest dreams´|
|Hernandez: Griezmann an idol at Atletico|
|Sri Lanka take charge despite Gabriel exploits|
|U.S. Open final-round timeline: How clinical Koepka kept his crown|
|Koepka fights off challengers to successfully defend U.S. Open title|
|´Aching´ Neymar urges referees to intervene|
|BREAKING NEWS: Koepka holds on to defend U.S. Open title|
17. Juni 2018
|Lozano goal causes artificial earthquake in Mexico|
|Djokovic: Mental battle will be Murray´s biggest|
|Hummels criticises Germany tactics in Mexico loss|
|Brazil the latest favourites to stumble, but Tite and Neymar won´t panic|
|Magnificent Fleetwood matches U.S. Open record with closing 63|
|Brazil 1 Switzerland 1: Zuber pegs back below-par Selecao|
|Warrington hold off Wakefield fightback, Tigers held despite Hitchcox heroics|
|Germany follow trend of poor starts for World Cup champions|
|Reed on the charge as U.S. Open race hots up|
|Milinkovic-Savic can play for any team in Europe, says Crespo|
|Southgate keen to unleash his bold new England|
|Konta fumes as Barty takes Nottingham title|
|Kante hails Pogba´s match-winning contribution|