After taking nearly a month off and missing the cut at the PGA Championship, Dustin Johnson appears to be back to his dominant ways — and he’s doing his damage with the putter so far at the 2016 BMW Championship.
Johnson set a course record at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Indiana, on Friday with a 9-under 63 to vault into a tie for the lead with Roberto Castro at 14 under going into the weekend. Johnson leads the field in strokes gained putting, which has been a recipe for success for him all year.
The super talented 32-year-old golfer is among the best drivers on the PGA Tour and has improved his wedge play considerably, but the one lingering weakness in his game has been the putting. Johnson moved to a new putter this week and it has paid dividends as he has dominated on the greens at Crooked Stick.
Johnson is 43rd on the PGA Tour in strokes gained putting for the season; in his run of wins, including his first career major victory at the U.S. Open, Johnson has been above average with the putter. He, like Rory McIlroy, lacks consistency with the putter like Jason Day or Jordan Spieth possess. But when Johnson and McIlroy do get the ball rolling, they are nearly unstoppable.
Johnson also got an assist from his wedge game on Friday as he holed out a bunker shot for eagle on No. 9.
Ten shots behind Johnson is Spieth, who at T19 had the highlight shot of the day with his own eagle chip-in from near the bleachers on No. 15.
Castro and Johnson have a three-shot lead over Paul Casey in third place at 11 under. U.S. Ryder Cup hopeful J.B. Holmes and Chris Kirk round out the top five at 10 under.
The scoring conditions at Crooked Stick have been perfect, and the players have been taking advantage of them to go low in the first two rounds. The rains on Thursday softened up the course, allowing players to take dead aim at pins and stop the ball without any trouble on the greens.
Even though Johnson and Castro have a pretty commanding lead now, there will be opportunities for others further back to mount charges over the weekend and try to close the gap as everyone jockeys for position heading into the Tour Championship.
Source: CBS Sports / Dustin Johnson sets course record to tie the lead at BMW Championship