Zach Johnson relishing return to action after Open win
Last Updated: 05/08/15 4:40pm
Open champion Zach Johnson admits he will return to action at one of his favourite courses this week following his heroics at St Andrews.
The 39-year-old, who has not played since beating Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman in a play-off to win his second major on July 19, will tee it up at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at the Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, on Thursday.
His victory in Scotland, by his own admission, came at his 'least favourite course on the Open roster' and ahead of the final major of the year - the US PGA Championship - he has labelled that venue, Whistling Straits, as 'contrived'.
However, he does have an affection for Firestone and is looking forward to competitive action again before heading off to Wisconsin.
“I love the golf course. I don't like to label or place or prioritise courses, but this is way up there for me," said the American.
“I love what this course demands. I think you've got to hit it straight. There's a lot of tee shots into the fairways that are not flat so you've got to kind of angle it in there.
“The driver is important here. I like that. The greens are fast, everything that I grew up on, tight, bent grass, Midwest-style golf course.
“There's a couple of tee shots that are just brutal - especially for us modest hitters. But all that said, I just thoroughly enjoy what this course demands and how it needs to be played.
“We've seen guys that kill it one year and we've seen guys that kind of plot their way around - Jim Furyk and that kind - that can do well. I think it separates the field nicely at the end of the week."
Only the injured Rory McIlroy and Chris Kirk will be missing out of the world’s top 50 players in Akron over the next few days.
With McIlroy close to returning after a month on the sidelines, Jordan Spieth – who will play alongside Johnson for the first two rounds – will replace the Northern Irishman as world No 1 if he wins the event.
Watch the action from the Firestone Country Club from Thursday live on Sky Sports 4 - your home of golf