Dustin Johnson: Putting key to Players Championship chances

World number one Dustin Johnson believes he can win The Players Championship for the first time if he putts well at TPC Sawgrass this week.

Johnson is a 17-time PGA Tour champion - headlined by his 2016 U.S. Open triumph - however the American star has never won The Players Championship.

The 33-year-old has never finished in the top 10 of the tournament as he prepares for Thursday's opening round in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

However, Johnson is confident of breaking through for his maiden Players title if he can roll the ball better on the greens.

"The Players Championship -- I like the golf course," Johnson said in an interview with Omnisport set up by BodyArmor Sprts Drink. "For me, it's all about working hard on the putting over the next few days.

"If I can putt well there, then I'm definitely going to have a chance to win on Sunday."

Johnson has spent 64 weeks atop the golf rankings, comfortably sitting above a growing list of challengers while waiting for yet another big season.

He heads into The Players Championship this week on the heels of a 10th-placed finish at the Masters and a share of 16th at the RBC Heritage -- an event he rarely has played.

With TPC Sawgrass on the horizon, Johnson believes there is only one aspect of his game that really needs work.

"I feel like I've been playing really well. I played good at Augusta, I played good at Hilton Head," Johnson said. "I feel like the game's in really good form right now. The only thing I need to work on is putting. I've been rolling it well, I just haven't been making any putts.

"I played well enough to win in both tournaments, but I didn't putt well enough to win."

The so-called 'fifth major' offers Johnson and its typically strong field to get a taste of Grand Slam-like atmosphere between the Masters and the U.S. Open, which will be hosted this June by Shinnecock Hills Golf Club on Long Island in New York.

Johnson believes his ability to play well on tough golf courses will benefit him that week.

"I haven't played Shinnecock, but I've seen pictures of it and it looks incredible. I'm sure I'm going to like it. It's going to be tough, which suits my game," Johnson added. "My game holds up pretty well on tough golf courses. The harder the better. Shinnecock will be a great test of golf, and I'm going to try and get up there the week after the Players and play it a couple times."

Johnson, like many of the other young stars occupying the PGA Tour right now, never had to face Tiger Woods during his most dominant days.

Still, Johnson thinks 14-time major winner Woods carries a bit of his old fear factor, especially when he is up near the top of leaderboards.

"It's Tiger Woods. He's arguably the best player who has ever played the game, so I think he's still got some of [his old fear factor] for sure," Johnson said. "He's starting to play much better. He's healthy again. He looks like he's got the speed back in his swing, and he's been playing pretty solid."

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Dustin Johnson is one of several high-profile athletes who endorse BodyArmor, which he describes as "a healthy sports drink."

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