World number one Dustin Johnson feels he has finally returned to peak condition after injuring himself on the eve of the Masters last year.
Johnson was forced to withdraw from the first major of 2017 after slipping on the stairs of the home he was renting near Augusta, and subsequently struggled to make a big impact at the U.S. Open, Open Championship and US PGA Championship.
The American won the PGA Tour's season-opening Tournament of Champions in Hawaii earlier this month, though, and is now ready to make an impression at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
"Yeah, I felt like obviously since Augusta, I kind of struggled for a little while," he told a news conference.
"But… from the [FedEx Cup] playoffs through now, the golf game is starting to get back into the form it was this time last year, where I had a really good run leading into Augusta.
"So, it's definitely good. I've been working hard on the game, but the golf swing feels like it's finally getting back to where it was."
Johnson was considered by many to be a favourite to win the Masters prior to his withdrawal and the 33-year-old is already eager for another shot at wearing the famous green jacket in April, an honour that ultimately went to Sergio Garcia in his absence.
"I'm definitely looking forward to it this year," the 2016 U.S. Open champion said.
"You know, I was very disappointed I didn't get to play last year, but things happen.
"So, you've just got to roll with it. But yeah, it's a place where I always love going to play. I feel like I really like the golf course.
"The last two Masters I played in, I did very well, and so I'm definitely excited to go back."
The swing of the World Number One— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) January 17, 2018
Johnson's countryman Matt Kuchar is also participating in this week's European Tour event in the United Arab Emirates.
Kuchar was fourth at the Masters, second at The Open and tied ninth at the PGA Championship, leaving him determined to secure a first major success of his career in 2018.
"Every year, I think it's got to be number one on everybody's list that is a professional golfer, is the desire to win a major," he said.
"Sometimes getting so close is difficult. But you're right, I think once you've tasted a bit of it, you want it more.
"You have more of a desire, and it's hard for me to say there's more of a desire than there was last year but certainly that desire is strong.
"I came so close at the British Open and it was a bit heart-breaking not to win the championship.
"But sure, I'll be gunning for the Masters, for [the] U.S. Open, for [the] British Open. I certainly am very much looking forward to every one of the majors this year."
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