Johnson returns at Memorial with lots of catching up to do for Ryder Cup

Dustin Johnson
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Dustin Johnson was No. 4 in the Ryder Cup standings when the season began, but has fallen to No. 24 because of his inactivity.
Doug Ferguson
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 | 7:26 p.m.

DUBLIN, Ohio -- Dustin Johnson was on the putting green at Muirfield Village with his light blue shirt untucked. It was a sure sign that he had not been at a PGA Tour event in nearly three months, only it had nothing to do with a dress code.

''I forgot to pack my belts,'' he said.

Johnson last played at Doral the second week of March. Coming off minor knee surgery in the offseason, he tweaked his back early in the year, and then injured it the weekend before the Masters while pushing a jet ski out of the water.

''And then when I went to try to play golf the next day, that was when I knew it was injured badly and I was not going to be able to play,'' Johnson said.

He sat out for two months, wanting to make sure it was completely healthy.

Now, he has some catching up to do. Johnson was No. 4 in the Ryder Cup standings when the season began, and he helped himself with a few tournaments in contention at Pebble Beach and Riviera. Without having played since March, however, he is at No. 24. The top eight automatically qualify.

''Just have to play good golf,'' he said. ''Probably wouldn't hurt if I won a tournament between now and then. That would definitely help. I'm just going to have to get in contention a few times and have some high finishes and play good in the U.S. Open and PGA.''

Johnson's record in team play is 2-6-1 in the last Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, though he badly wants to be part of the Ryder Cup team at Medinah.

''I want to be on the team and I'm going to do whatever I can to make it,'' he said. ''Obviously, having a couple months off hurts a little bit, but I've still got plenty of time to make the team.''