Dustin Johnson tied for second at Genesis despite driver 'struggles'

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LOS ANGELES – Social distancing and the age of COVID-19 has drastically changed golf instruction, but Dustin Johnson and his swing coach, Claude Harmon III, have always been ahead of the curve on remote learning.

On Day 1 at the Genesis Invitational, the world No. 1 hit just 3 of 14 fairways, and although he improved on Friday (and he’s leading the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green), Johnson still wasn’t completely comfortable off the tee. Before he’d even signed his scorecard, Harmon was ready.

“I got some texts from Claude, so I know what to do tomorrow when I go to the range,” said Johnson, who was in a four-way tie for second place at 7 under following a second-round 67. “It’s not far off, just the takeaway is all, just a little bit off.”

Genesis Invitational: Full-field scores | Full coverage

If he’s going to run down Sam Burns, who leads at 12 under, Johnson will need to take advantage of Riviera’s par-5s, which he’s played in 1 under this week, and that means driving the ball in the fairway.

“Still didn’t play the par-5s quite as well as I’d like to, especially through the first two rounds,” he said. “To be 1 under is not going to get the job done over the weekend. Definitely need to take advantage of the par-5s the next couple days.”