Dustin Johnson ready to defend Travelers title with a new title, world No. 2

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CROMWELL, Conn. – When Dustin Johnson tees off Thursday at the Travelers Championship, in which he is the defending champion, it will be the first time he swings a driver not as the world No. 1 since August 2020. 

After Jon Rahm won the U.S. Open last week, he overtook Johnson as the top player in the world. Johnson, who now is No. 2 in the world rankings, has performed decently in his last two starts since missing the cut at the PGA Championship. He finished tied for 19th at the U.S. Open and tied for ninth at the Palmetto Championship. 

Travelers Championship: Full-field tee times | Full coverage

“Obviously I’ve been [No. 1] for a while, so, yeah, just my play as of late hasn’t been good enough to hold that position,” he said Wednesday. “A good week this week, I think I could get right back there.”

According to Golf Channel’s OWGR expert, Alan Robison, Johnson could regain the top spot with a two-way tie for fifth or better.

DJ still trying to find his putter after U.S. Open

Johnson has had a lot of “good weeks” since last year’s win at TPC River Highlands, with 11 top-10 finishes, including a victory in the 2020 Masters. However, the 37-year-old still finds room for improvement. 

“Yeah, since January haven’t played as well as I would have liked to, but I feel like the game is starting to come around at the right time,” he said. “Obviously, it’s a big part of the year here coming up with this week obviously a big tournament, then The Open Championship, and then WGC and playoffs.”