Dustin Johnson follows Masters runner-up finish with RBC Heritage in his home state

Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Dustin Johnson follows Masters runner-up finish with RBC Heritage in his home state

PGA Tour

Dustin Johnson follows Masters runner-up finish with RBC Heritage in his home state

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Dustin Johnson’s march toward a green jacket on a Masters Sunday to remember fell short as Tiger Woods held off Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka by one shot to win his fifth Masters.

Johnson certainly isn’t disheartened by coming so close to winning such an elusive garment in such a grand tournament. That’s just how the laid-back Johnson rolls as he simply refuses to dwell on the past.

Besides, now he has his eyes set on winning a Tartan jacket.

That piece of clothing goes to the winner of the RBC Heritage that begins Thursday at the Pete Dye/Jack Nicklaus-designed Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Johnson is one of the favorites in a field that boasts Schauffele, Bryson DeChambeau, Jordan Spieth, Francesco Molinari, Tommy Fleetwood, Matt Kuchar, Webb Simpson and Ian Poulter.

One week after tensions ran high and nerves were shot from the taxing challenge of the Masters, Johnson will relish the softer vibe that resonates on Hilton Head Island, where cars run neck and neck with bicycles on the streets, people walk 12 miles of beachfront, and Southern hospitality is around every corner.

He has more to play for than just the first-place check and the Tartan jacket.

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“It’s the only tournament in my home state,” Johnson said. “I came here my first couple of years on tour, didn’t really have a lot of success. I came back last year and really liked the course. I always liked the course. But had a little success last year (he finished in a tie for 16th). And so for me to come here and play for my home state, I’ve got a lot of family and friends who get to come down and watch me. It’s a really nice week.”

He had a pretty nice week last week, too. With rounds of 68-70-70-68, Johnson finished at 12 under. With his runner-up finish, the 2016 U.S. Open champion moved back to the top of the official world rankings.

“I had a little bit of a chance there on Sunday, which was nice,” Johnson said. “I knew going into the back nine I needed to play really well, and I did. I hit a few good putts there on 12 and 14 that I thought I made and they just kind of burned the edges, which were kind of the putts I really needed to make.

“I gave myself the opportunity. And I felt like I performed really well when I needed to in that situation. So I’m pleased with it. Obviously one stroke, I definitely could have found that somewhere. All in all, it was a good week. I played well when I needed to. And obviously for me to be competing against (Woods) when he’s coming back is a lot of fun. He’s still a great player. I enjoyed it because I grew up watching him and kind of idolizing him.”

Johnson said he didn’t prep any differently for the RBC Heritage than he did for the Masters. That includes his approach to the course. Harbour Town Golf Links is tree lined just like Augusta National but plays a bit tighter. And at 7,099 yards, which is 376 yards shorter than Augusta National but plays to a par of 71, Harbour Town limits the use of the driver.

It doesn’t matter to the big-hitting Johnson.

“If I’m hitting the ball where I want to, it doesn’t matter what kind of course it is, I like it,” Johnson said. “And this is the kind of golf I grew up playing. Last year I had some success, and I’m looking to have some more success this year.”

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