Golf: A year on from meltdown Johnson confident at US Open

Dustin Johnson hits a shot during a practice round prior to the U.S. Open. Photo / Getty Images
Dustin Johnson hits a shot during a practice round prior to the U.S. Open. Photo / Getty Images

A year after his US Open dream became a nightmare with a three-putt on the final hole at Chambers Bay, Dustin Johnson is in an upbeat mood before the 2016 edition at Oakmont Country Club.

The athletic American has a power game that makes him capable of winning on any golf course and he will tee off in Friday's opening round buoyed by top-five finishes in his past two PGA Tour starts.

"It's always good to be playing well coming into a US Open because you know it's going to be tough," Johnson, 31, told reporters after completing his preparations for the year's second major championship.

"This is one place where you really need to control your golf ball. You've got to control your spin and where you want the ball to land, so it's a premium to hit the fairways because the rough's thick and deep.

"You can get a decent lie every once in a while but the majority of them, they sit down, and it's tough to control it. And then the fairway bunkers are almost a penalty stroke, too, because they're so deep."

Still seeking his first major title after recording 11 top-10s in the blue-riband events, the world No.6 came closest to success at the 2015 US Open when he lined up a 12-foot eagle putt at the par-five 18th to secure the title.

However, he agonisingly three-putted from there to hand the trophy to fellow American Jordan Spieth as he finished a stroke adrift in a tie for second.

"I feel like I handled that situation good," Johnson said of his Chambers Bay experience.

"It wasn't like I hit bad shots or did anything.

"Unfortunately, the greens weren't as smooth as they could have been.

This week, you don't have to worry about that. If I miss a putt then I can blame myself, not the greens, which I like.

"I feel like my game, in those situations, has held up just fine the past few times I've been in this situation. So that's all I'm trying to do is just give myself a chance on the back nine on Sunday."

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