The Masters: Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth all feeling confident for major challenge | Golf News

American trio Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth all believe they are in good enough form to be in contention for The Masters title this week; watch The Masters live on Sky Sports Golf with Featured Group coverage from 2pm on Thursday

Last Updated: 05/04/22 7:50pm

Dustin Johnson is looking to follow up his 2020 Masters win this week

Dustin Johnson is looking to follow up his 2020 Masters win this week

Dustin Johnson has gone over a year since his last victory but says his game is “trending in the right direction” as he prepares to challenge for a second Masters title this week.

Johnson stormed to a five-shot success at the delayed 2020 Masters in November of that year and looked to be in the sort of form where he could string a number of wins together.

As the undisputed world No 1 he went on to win the Saudi International in February 2021, but has drawn a blank since then – a run of results which included missing the cut as he defended The Masters title – and he is now down to eighth in the world rankings.

But, happy to be a little under the radar with all the attention on Tiger Woods, Johnson feels he is returning to form after top-10 finishes at The Players Championship and WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

He said: “I feel like my game is definitely trending in the right direction. Starting to see a lot more consistency with shots. I feel like I’m starting to control the golf ball a little bit better. The swing is starting to feel a lot better.

“Obviously around here, chipping and putting is a big part of it, but you’ve got to be able to control the golf ball, especially when the course gets firm and fast. Quality iron shots go a long way around here.”

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Johnson is especially looking forward to playing in front of the packed stands at Augusta National this year after all the Covid-related restrictions over the last two years.

“It’s much better having all the fans and everyone out there,” he added. “So it’s going to be a special week. It’s an unbelievably special place just coming to play the event, but after you’re a Masters champion, it’s even that much more special.

“Every time you come back, it brings up all the memories. It’s a place that I’m always going to cherish.”

Thomas feeling good as he seeks major boost

One place ahead of Johnson in the world rankings at No 7 is Justin Thomas, who has also gone over a year since his last win at the 2021 Players Championship, while his sole major triumph came back in 2017 at the PGA Championship.

The 28-year-old, whose fourth behind Johnson in 2020 is his best performance in six Masters appearances, is content with his game, though, with four top-10 finishes already this year.

Justin Thomas says Tiger Woods has been a good person for him to turn to for golfing advice throughout his career so far

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Justin Thomas says Tiger Woods has been a good person for him to turn to for golfing advice throughout his career so far

Justin Thomas says Tiger Woods has been a good person for him to turn to for golfing advice throughout his career so far

“I feel very good coming into this week,” he said. “I’ve been working hard. I feel like I have a pretty good game plan in terms of how I prep when I’m at home, and I feel like I did so. Just got to kind of stay in the moment and stay patient and just plot my way around the course once we start on Thursday.”

Thomas admits he has under-performed in majors, despite his win in 2017, but is hopeful he has identified the problem.

“I have not even close to performed well in my entire career in majors,” he said.

Thomas is making his seventh Masters appearance this year

Thomas is making his seventh Masters appearance this year

“In terms of a result standpoint, which is all that matters when it comes to tournaments is how you finish at the end of the week, I feel like I’ve performed very, very poorly.

“I feel like I’ve learned, but I’ve just put too much pressure on myself in the past and maybe put the tournament on too much of a pedestal and tried to just overdo things when in reality I should have faith in my game and the things that I can do on the course, with the golf ball, whatever it is.

“I just need to get a little bit better at kind of getting in my own world and just going to play golf.”

Spieth ‘in better place’ than last year

Another popular American feeling bullish about his chances this week is 2015 champion Jordan Spieth.

The 28-year-old went into last year’s tournament on the back of a long-awaited win at the Texas Open and, although his results have not been as good in recent weeks, he feels he is in even better form this time around.

Jordan Spieth has explained why he is feeling confident ahead of the 86th edition of The Masters

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Jordan Spieth has explained why he is feeling confident ahead of the 86th edition of The Masters

Jordan Spieth has explained why he is feeling confident ahead of the 86th edition of The Masters

“I feel great, played the last two weeks leading into this week, which is what I’ve done every year,” he said. “I struck the ball beautifully last week, never adjusted to the speeds of the greens. That’s not normally an issue out here. I never got the ball to the hole, so you kind of have the opposite problem here.

“I feel like my game’s in a great spot. I feel like I’m ready to contend. And with the predicted forecast and if we don’t get too much rain, the course was as firm and fast as I’ve ever seen it on a Monday. So ideally it gets back to that, throw in some wind, and you’re going to really need to know the golf course, plot your way around really well.

Spieth has won three major titles, the last of them at the 2017 Open

Spieth has won three major titles, the last of them at the 2017 Open

“Very confident this week, even if results over the last month or so haven’t been what I was looking for. I feel like my game’s in a lot better place than even it was last year here. I think I’m second to last on Thursday to get started, and we get a good gauge of how the course is playing because of that and kind of pick a game plan then.”

Watch The Masters exclusively live on Sky Sports. Live coverage throughout tournament week is on Sky Sports Golf, with additional feeds and bonus action during all four rounds available via the red button.

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