Open champions need to have everything - Johnson


Reigning Open champion Zach Johnson insists only a genuine all-rounder can win the famous links tournament.

The American prevailed at St Andrews last year in a play-off that brought a thrilling climax to a Monday finish after high winds and heavy rain played havoc with the schedule.

He returns to Scotland this week to defend his title at Royal Troon, teeing off in a group alongside Adam Scott and Henrik Stenson, and the 40-year-old says the eventual winner will need to showcase every quality.

"I just think the beauty of this tournament and this style of links golf is you've got to have everything," he said.

"You've got to hit your driver high. You've got to hit it low. You've got to hit it left. You've got to hit it right. And that goes with every golf club in your bag. You've got to hold it, you've got to use the wind. You've got to do everything.

"The greens are not fast and everyone's like, 'Well, it's probably easy to putt' - they're not easy to putt. There are subtle breaks. A solid putt typically gets rewarded whether it's on a speed or whether it's a four-footer. I just think it's beautiful in that regard."

Unlike namesake Dustin - who heads into the tournament off the back of his U.S. Open success - Johnson is not renowned for his big hitting, but he backed himself off the tee and is confident it will not be a decisive factor.

"I don't know if there's any course that negates that [having a long drive], because I just think it's a weapon you have in your arsenal that you can use when given the opportunity," the world number 18 added.

"A lot of those guys have gears when it comes to their driver. I have a gear. It's just always right there. I just try to hit it as hard as I can pretty much every time for the most part."