Golf-Johnson says knee ready to go for PGA Championship

May 18, 2021; Kiawah Island, South Carolina, USA; Dustin Johnson putts on the ninth green during a practice round for the PGA Championship golf tournament at Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Resort. / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

KIAWAH ISLAND, South Carolina (Reuters) - World number one Dustin Johnson on Wednesday declared himself fully fit ahead of this week's PGA Championship at Kiawah Island after sitting out the final tune-up event with knee discomfort.

The South Carolina native, a PGA Championship runner-up in each of the last two years, has not been in the best of form of late but suggested his knee would not be an issue as he chases a major title in his home state.

"Yeah, health is good," Johnson said in his pre-tournament news conference at Kiawah Island, where first-round action begins on Thursday at the Ocean Course.

"I just wanted to spend more time on making sure I was feeling 100% for this week and done a lot of work at home, and yeah, I feel really good coming into this week."

Johnson, who had arthroscopic surgery in 2019 to repair cartilage damage, said the latest feelings of knee discomfort had been "off and on" for the last six months.

The long-hitting American, who won last November's Masters but missed the cut in his title defence at Augusta National in April, also said an MRI showed everything was fine.

"Just got together with the doctor and physio down there that I use for my rehab and just put together a little bit of a plan to get a little bit stronger," said Johnson. "Yeah, it feels good, though."

Johnson, who finished 48th when the PGA Championship was last held at Kiawah Island's Ocean Course in 2012, said the layout will provide a tough test as it requires golfers to hit long clubs into hard greens amid swirling winds.

Johnson has not posted a top-10 finish on the PGA Tour since February and while he said his knee was partly responsible for that drop in form he remains full of confidence as he chases a third career major title.

"I feel like it's been close the past few months," Johnson said of his game. "Just haven't put it all together at the same time. But everything feels really good right now. I've got a lot of confidence coming into this week."

(Reporting by Andrew Both; Writing by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis)

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