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Despite world No. 1 status Johnson still gets nervous

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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Coming off three wins and a runner up last week at the Wells Fargo Championship, it would be hard to argue that somebody is more on their game than Dustin Johnson. He’s currently the No. 1 player in the world as he enters his eighth start at The Players.

As good as Johnson has been of late, TPC Sawgrass has historically gotten the best of him. His best performance here is a tie for 28th place.

“Well, yeah, I think my game as a whole has gotten a lot better,” said Johnson following Wednesday’s practice round. “You know, so I'm interested to see how I can play here this week. But it's definitely a new challenge. I haven't had a lot of success around here, so it's definitely a challenge for me. But I feel like if I'm going to play well here, this is the time that I will play well because I feel like the game -- everything throughout my whole game is in really good form right now.”

Johnson was one of the favorites entering the Masters but due to a back injury, he was forced to withdraw before the tournament even started. In his first action since the injury, Johnson finished one shot behind Brian Harman at Eagle Point last weekend. Nobody wants to miss a major, but Johnson doesn’t have second thoughts about sitting out the Masters.

“Obviously I would have loved to have played and who knows what would have happened, but that's what it is,” said Johnson. “Who knows what would have happened. Sergio [Garcia] played great. He would have been tough to beat that week. Hats off to Sergio. It was good to see him get his first major.”

Even in a field that has 48 of the top 50 golfers in the world, Johnson stands out at No. 1. Despite that status and recent success, Johnson still deals with moments of doubt.

“I get nervous every day when I'm stepping on the tee, and any time coming down the stretch in a tournament like if I'm around the lead or in the lead,” said Johnson. “I feel it, but obviously I've been there enough times now to where I know how to handle it. But yeah, I still get nervous, though, absolutely.”