Dustin Johnson plays down Wells Fargo chances on return from injury

Dustin Johnson plays down Wells Fargo chances on return from injury

World number one Dustin Johnson has low expectations ahead of his first competitive appearance since being forced to withdraw from the Masters last month.

Johnson, who was the pre-tournament favourite after winning his previous three events, suffered a back injury in what he termed a ''freak accident'' at his rented house in Augusta on the eve of the year's first major.

The US Open champion slipped on a small set of stairs as he went to move his car and landed heavily on his back and left elbow.

He was able to complete a warm-up on the range ahead of the first round under the watchful eye of coach Butch Harmon and looked set to compete, only to suddenly leave the first tee and head back into the clubhouse.

The 32-year-old returns to action at this week's Wells Fargo Championship and told the Golf Channel: "I'm good to go. I haven't practiced much the last few weeks, obviously I had to rest and it was sore for a while - a lot longer than I thought it would be.

"But I practiced a little bit last week and am looking forward to getting back out here and playing again. I don't really have much expectations but I'm feeling good, I feel like I am swinging really well so we'll just have to see what happens.

"It was tough to watch (the Masters) but I couldn't do anything else - I was still laying on the couch. I wanted to be there playing, I was playing the best golf of my career leading into the Masters so I didn't want to watch it on TV, but things happen and I'm back out here playing now.

"I've got a good few weeks coming up and then the US Open so I've got a lot of tournaments ahead of me."

With regular venue Quail Hollow preparing to host the US PGA Championship in August, the Wells Fargo Championship is being staged at Eagle Point Golf Club in 2017.

And that could play into the hands of former US Open champion and North Carolina native Webb Simpson, who is a member of both courses and estimates he has played around 150 rounds at Eagle Point, including several last month as part of an annual trip with friends.

"I think the thing I've got to be careful about is I know this place so well," Simpson told a pre-tournament press conference. "And I've had this happen at Quail Hollow where I kind of relax mentally and end up making a couple of dumb mistakes that I wouldn't normally make.

"So I've got to use that comfort to my advantage and not to my disadvantage. I almost have to convince myself, you know, hey, I've got to be ready to play Thursday as much as anybody. It's only going to be my advantage that I'm a member if I use it to help me.

"I think the comfort comes with (the fact) I don't have to think quite as much on the shot selection, I know what the tendencies are on the greens, I know what the tendencies are with the wind, that kind of thing. So yeah, I'm looking forward to kind of using all that to help me."

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