RBC Heritage

World's top golfer left Hilton Head for a tropical vacation. But he vows he'll return

Dustin Johnson waits to putt out on No. 9 to finish his round on Sunday during the final round of the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing golf tournament on Sunday at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island, S.C. The world's No. 1 golfer finished the tournament 7 under-par.
Dustin Johnson waits to putt out on No. 9 to finish his round on Sunday during the final round of the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing golf tournament on Sunday at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island, S.C. The world's No. 1 golfer finished the tournament 7 under-par. jkarr@islandpacket.com

The world's top player was only minutes from a tropical vacation and prepared to say goodbye to Hilton Head Island when he finished his work week Sunday.

But before jetting away and leaving Harbour Town Golf Links in his wake, Dustin Johnson said he enjoyed the course that many might not consider a good fit for his game. And he'll be back at the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing next year, he said after a final-round 67.

He finished 7 under and tied for 16th. That's a stark contrast to previous appearances in 2008 and '09, when he missed the cut.

Johnson, one of the longest hitters on tour, might not seem a natural fit for one of the shortest layouts and smallest greens on the PGA Tour. He disagrees.

"I like the golf course; I really do," he said. "It actually sets up really well for me."

Johnson committed to the Heritage for the 50th tournament while announcing a partnership with tournament sponsor RBC. The relationship means he should be back in coming years. "I'll be back next year for sure," Johnson said.

He was headed for a vacation in the Bahamas on Sunday and said he plans to spend upcoming time off working on his putting.

After a tie for 10th at the Masters, Johnson said his putting kept him from a lower finish in Augusta. Putting again held him back at Harbour Town.

"I've got a few weeks off so I'm going to spend a lot of time on the putting green. I feel like I'm swinging it real well, driving it well, wedging it real good," he said. "So every part of my game is going really well. I'm not making as many putts as I'd like to. I don't think you ever make as many as you'd like to but I feel like I'm putting below average right now."

Johnson will return to the PGA Tour at the Players Championship in May. The tournament is held at TPC Sawgrass, like Harbour Town a Pete Dye design.

The Columbia native and former Coastal Carolina golfer said the tight, tree-lined layout on Hilton Head reminded him of courses he grew up on in the Midlands. While noting the exception of holes No. 9 and 11, two par-4s he struggled with throughout the week, Johnson said he embraced Harbour Town but was ready for some time off.

"Now I know what I need to work on, so I've got three weeks to work on it," Johnson said.

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