Zach Johnson believes his golf game is on the right trajectory.
With only one missed cut in 18 tournaments this season and coming off back-to-back top 20 finishes, Johnson steps onto the grounds at TPC Deere Run this week brimming with confidence.
"I feel really good," Johnson said Tuesday afternoon in preparation for his 17th consecutive John Deere Classic. "I think if my caddie (Damon Green) was up here, he would be more honest. He feels really good.
"When your caddie feels confident in what you're doing, you know you've got some stuff going."
His form, coupled with his track record in the Quad-Cities, makes Johnson one of the pre-tournament favorites again.
Johnson has seven top-five finishes in the JDC since 2009, including a victory in 2012. In that span, he has collected more than $2.8 million in earnings and shot a collective 148-under par in 36 rounds.
"I love everything about this tournament," Johnson said. "I love coming back to familiar territory. I love coming back to a tournament that means so much to me, a tournament that gave me some nice fresh starts when I didn't necessarily earn them."
The 42-year-old is seeking his first PGA Tour win since the Open Championship at St. Andrews in 2015, a span of 71 tournaments.
Just inside the top 60 of the FedEx Cup standings and 21st in the United States Ryder Cup standings, Johnson has plenty of incentive to play well the next several weeks.
He hasn't made it to the Tour Championship, the top 30 in the FedEx standings, at East Lake since 2015.
"It's not in the forefront of my mind, but it's in there," Johnson said. "If I want to be brutally honest, the beginning of the year my No. 1 goal was the Ryder Cup team. I feel like if I get on the Ryder Cup team, everything else kind of falls into place."
Johnson placed 12th at the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills in mid-June and followed with a 19th-place finish at the Travelers Championship.
Instead of searching for the proper ball flight on the range, Johnson is working on scoring.
"I'm working on what you would say is transferable practice, meaning I'm almost playing games out there so that when I get on the first tee, I feel like I am fresh and ready," he said.
"It really comes down to execution."
Even before he hits the 10th tee Thursday morning with Steve Stricker and Wesley Bryan at 8 a.m., it has been a profitable week for Johnson.
His foundation raised a record $1.3 million Monday at his annual golf outing in Cedar Rapids. Bill Haas, Tony Finau and John Daly were among the golfers to participate in the event at Elmcrest Country Club.
"Humbled beyond words," Johnson said. "Just completely beside myself as to what transpired.
"It's a testament to these type of communities. I'm just a small part of it, but it's great. It's for the kids. It's for the families that should have any and all opportunities that I was given as a kid."
Source : https://qctimes.com/sports/golf/professional/johnson-trending-upward-going-into-jdc/article_601c90c9-0c18-51a4-88fa-b5fff3e2dced.html