59 watch fades as Johnson falters down stretch

Dustin Johnson looks on from a fairway on the 17th hole during Round 2 of The Barclays.

Dustin Johnson looks on from a fairway on the 17th hole during Round 2 of The Barclays.

EDISON, N.J. – Dustin Johnson birdied seven of his first 11 holes Friday at par-71 Plainfield Country Club. Considering he still faced two par 5s, the so-called 59 watch was on high alert in an area already on hurricane alert.

But after driving into the fairway at the par-5 12th, the long-hitting Johnson hooked a 3-iron into a creek and scrambled to save par. He also failed to birdie the other par 5, No. 16, where he reached the green in two but three-putted.

What’s more, he drove right in front of the green on the 285-yard finishing hole but failed to get up and down. So he had to settle for a 63.

Not a bad settle.

“I let a few get away from me coming in,” said Johnson, one stroke behind leader Matt Kuchar’s 14 under par during the second round of a Barclays tournament that will end Saturday because of impending bad weather. “There’s no way I can say I’m disappointed by any means ... but I could have done a little better.”

Johnson said 59 never crossed his mind. Birdies on a soft course with good greens, though, did.

“I just tried to birdie every hole I could,” he said. “It’s out there for the taking. You can be aggressive to all flags.”

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