British Open golf: Dustin Johnson challenge fizzles out at St Andrews as putting deserts him

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Published: July 20, 2015 10:38:34 AM

Dustin Johnson's jinx at majors struck again as he went from favourite to outsider for the British Open with a scrappy three-over-par 75 at St Andrews on Sunday.

Dustin Johnson’s jinx at majors struck again as he went from favourite to outsider for the British Open with a scrappy three-over-par 75 at St Andrews on Sunday.

Leading at the halfway stage on 10 under, the big-hitting American misfired badly to tumble down the leaderboard.

On a day when birdies were there for the taking, and were taken by everyone else on an Old Course tamed by tranquil weather conditions, Johnson managed only one — at the 15th —  and leaked four dropped shots to fall five strokes behind.

“I didn’t feel like I played that bad,” Johnson, who led last month’s U.S. Open on the 72nd hole before a three-putt handed the title to Jordan Spieth, told reporters.

“Just couldn’t hole the putts. I felt like I was hitting good putts. They just weren’t going in the hole.”

The last five winners of the British Open at St Andrews were all leading or joint-leading after 36 holes.

But if Johnson is to continue that trend he will have to reverse a worrying statistic.

In the last three British Opens he was a cumulative 11 under in round one, nine under in round two, but six over in third rounds and seven over in round four.

He was still hopeful, though.

“I’m going to have to put together a special round tomorrow to have a chance,” he said.

“But I’ll definitely be way out before the leaders, so get out early and get off to a really good start maybe, you never know what happens. Anything can happen.”

Johnson was runner-up at the British Open in Sandwich in 2011 while the year before he was leading the U.S. PGA at Whistling Straights with one hole to play but was denied a play-off after being docked two shots for a rules infringement when he grounded his club in a bunker.

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