Johnson: ‘This is what I live for’

US Open leader Dustin Johnson is backing himself to hold his nerve for the most important round of his life.

US Open leader Dustin Johnson is backing himself to hold his nerve for the most important round of his life.
Johnson, who turns 26 next Tuesday, will take a three-shot lead into the last day of the 110th US Open at Pebble Beach Golf links after producing a five-under-par 66 in his third round to overtake halfway leader Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland.
Johnson is at six under, three ahead of McDowell, who shot a 71, with world number one Tiger Woods in third at one under. Ernie Els and France’s Gregory Havret are six shots off the lead with Masters champion Phil Mickelson seven in arrears.
The big-hitting Johnson said he knows exactly what he has to do to hold off some of the biggest names in the game and seal his first major victory.
“This is what I live for, this is what I practice for every day,” Johnson said. “This is what we play golf for, to have a chance to win the US Open.
“I’m going to have to be really patient. If I keep hitting like I’ve been hitting and putting it in the spots on the green, then I’m going to be tough to beat.
“I think I’m very patient most of the time. Sometimes I can get a little impatient, I’ll hurry, I’ll play a little fast.
“But tomorrow I’ll just try to keep it slow, keep a good routine going like I’ve been doing, and take what the golf course gives me.”
Johnson also knows how to win at Pebble Beach. His caddie Bobby Brown was a long-time caddie at the famous California links who helped his boss successfully defend his title at the annual PGA Tour event here in February.
“The first time I walked out here I loved the place,” Johnson said.
“I really enjoy playing golf here. You couldn’t ask for a more beautiful place and I just really enjoy it.”
Johnson said he was pleased with a round that produced an eagle, five birdies and two bogeys.
“I started off well. I drove it well today,” he said.
“I hit a lot of fairways and if I hit a lot of fairways I’m usually going to play pretty well.
“I was controlling my irons, especially the distance, pretty well today for the most part.
“I had a couple of loose shots but other than that I got it back together coming down the stretch and made two good birdies.”
More of that on Sunday and the American may well be celebrating his birthday as US Open champion next week.
“You couldn’t ask for a better present,” he said.
“This is what I go to the gym and do all the stuff that I do for, to be in a position like this to go out and have a chance to win a US Open.”