Johnson ready to move past British Open, starting now in Nordea Masters

dustin johnson
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Back in Sweden for the second straight season, Dustin Johnson says he's still young and will have plenty of other chances to win majors.
PA Sport

Series: European Tour

Published: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 | 4:46 p.m.

Dustin Johnson will look to put another near-miss in a major behind him when he tees off in the European Tour’s Nordea Masters on Thursday.

The 27-year-old American was in contention at Royal St. George's right up until the moment he slapped his second shot at the 14th out of bounds during Sunday’s final round. It gave eventual champion Darren Clarke a comfortable route home and meant Johnson would finish tied for second with Phil Mickelson.


Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., and opened in 2007, Bro Hof is considered one of the world's best new courses and a potential Ryder Cup host in the future.

Johnson has form for cracking under pressure. At last year's U.S. Open he led by three after 54 holes and shot 82, and in the PGA Championship two months later he bogeyed the last for what he thought was a playoff but was given a two-shot penalty for grounding his club in a bunker.

But the Ryder Cup player insists it is not something he will dwell on. And having taken the opportunity to play at Bro Hof Slott Golf Club this week, he hopes to be able to play his way away from any bad memories of Royal St. George’s.

"I'm still young, so I'm not really worried about it," he said. "I just put myself in position and see what happens."

Johnson, as the world's new No. 7, is the highest ranked player in the field -- and the favorite -- and is returning to Bro Hof for the second successive year.

Fellow American Bubba Watson, who at No. 14 is the next highest-ranked player, is continuing his European education with a first appearance in Sweden.

The big-hitting Watson found himself attracting all the wrong kind of headlines on his first appearance at a regular European Tour event at the Alstom French Open last month, when he managed to denigrate the great Parisian landmarks the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe and even the Palace of Versailles not far from the golf course.

"I have always wanted to come to Sweden and I have heard so many good things about Stockholm and the track at Bro Hof," he said. "It will be exciting to play there and to meet the Swedish golf audience."

Leading the home challenge with be Ryder Cup teammates Robert Karlsson and Henrik Stenson alongside last year's winner Richard S. Johnson. This could be the last year for Karlsson, who has played in the event 21 times.

Next year's tournament has been brought forward and clashes with the PGA Tour's St. Jude Classic, one of Karlsson's favorites, which will also provide ideal preparation for the U.S. Open a couple of weeks later.

"I will take the opportunity and play well this year," said Karlsson, who has not yet decided what his plans are for next season.