Rory McIlroy is the only man capable of coming between Dustin Johnson and the famed green jacket at Augusta next week, according to Padraig Harrington.
As both golfers chase their maiden green jacket, Harrington believes that McIlroy is the only player travelling to The Masters next week who can beat Johnson with the hot streak he is currently on.
World number one, DJ, is in a scintillating run of form heading to Augusta National, having won all three of his last three starts. Perhaps worryingly for the rest of the field, the 2016 U.S Open champion says the best is yet to come ahead of the Masters Tournamnent.
Speaking after his latest victory at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship, in which he defeated Jon Rahm 1 up in the final, Johnson said:
“Being No. 1, it kind of drives me to work harder and to get better. There’s still a lot of room for improvement in my game.”
The 32-year-old’s response when quizzed about his expectations for the first major of the year should come as a menacing warning to any players coming with the plan of putting a halt to his winning streak:
“I’ve got a lot of confidence now.”
“Confidence in my game and confidence in myself. I just need to keep working on it.”
“The Masters is always a tournament that I look forward to every year. I really like that golf course. I really like going to Augusta. It’s one of my favorite tournaments to play every year. I’ve actually played good there the last two years (T6 in 2015 and T4 in 2016). I’m excited to go back when the game is in good form. I feel like everything is working pretty well.”
Three time major winner, Harrington, who is unfit to play next week as he recovers from surgery on a trapped nerve in his neck, is of the opinion that world no. 2, McIlroy, is the only golfer with the potential to topple the bookies favourite Johnson.
Acknowledging that it will be a tough task, the Dubliner explained to Game On on 2FM:
“He (Rory) is the second favourite. At the end of the day, DJ is playing the golf of his life at the moment, he’s peaked, he’s really on form.”
“With the way DJ is playing, Rory is going to be under pressure to bring his ‘A’ game and that’s tough enough. There is such a high standard at the top.”
“Rory is the only one capable of beating him at this very moment.”
Harrington will be working in the Sky Sports punditry studio at Augusta next week, analysing what could turn out to be a memorable battle between the American and Northern Irishman.