Johnson climbs Open leaderboard despite illness

Dustin Johnson, shown here at Royal St. George's, is a player to watch at Firestone this weekend.

Dustin Johnson, shown here at Royal St. George's, is a player to watch at Firestone this weekend.

Scores »

RBC Heritage

Hilton Head, SC - Harbour Town Golf Links

2:29:01 PM ET. 04/17/2014




PosNameTodayThruScore
T1Matt Kuchar-5F-5
T1Scott Langley-510-5
T1William McGirt-510-5
4James Hahn-34-3
T5Russell Knox-2F-2
Complete Leaderboard »

SANDWICH, England – Dustin Johnson was 4-over par through the first 13 holes of the British Open. Plus, he was under the weather, taking antibiotics for a swollen gland and sore throat since Wednesday.

But now he’s 2-under par and only two strokes off the midway lead after a second-round 68 during which he drove the ball beautifully.

“I’m getting a little better,” he said. “But I’m not nearly 100 percent.”

He was talking about his health, not his golf. Pressed for a percentage, he said he’s 80 percent healthy. Then for the second day in a row he lifted his chin and pointed to a large lump on his neck.

“It’s pretty bad,” he said of the bump. “I’m going to go home and rest.”

Asked how his ailment affects performance, Johnson said, “You just have to grind a little more.”

There long has been an adage that goes like this: Beware of the ailing golfer. Johnson has heard it.

“So beware,” he said, smiling, as he walked off John Wayne-style.

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