St Andrews: Dustin Johnson`s jinx at majors struck again as he went from favourite to outsider for the British Open with a scrappy three-over-par 75 at St Andrews on Sunday.
Leading at the halfway stage on 10 under, the big-hitting American misfired badly to tumble down the leaderboard.
On a day when birdies were there for the taking, and were taken by everyone else on an Old Course tamed by tranquil weather conditions, Johnson managed only one -- at the 15th -- and leaked four dropped shots to fall five strokes behind.
"I didn`t feel like I played that bad," Johnson, who led last month`s U.S. Open on the 72nd hole before a three-putt handed the title to Jordan Spieth, told reporters.
"Just couldn`t hole the putts. I felt like I was hitting good putts. They just weren`t going in the hole."
The last five winners of the British Open at St Andrews were all leading or joint-leading after 36 holes.
But if Johnson is to continue that trend he will have to reverse a worrying statistic.
In the last three British Opens he was a cumulative 11 under in round one, nine under in round two, but six over in third rounds and seven over in round four.
He was still hopeful, though.
"I`m going to have to put together a special round tomorrow to have a chance," he said.
"But I`ll definitely be way out before the leaders, so get out early and get off to a really good start maybe, you never know what happens. Anything can happen."
Johnson was runner-up at the British Open in Sandwich in 2011 while the year before he was leading the U.S. PGA at Whistling Straights with one hole to play but was denied a play-off after being docked two shots for a rules infringement when he grounded his club in a bunker.