RBC Heritage 2012: Zach Johnson's 3rd Round Will Kickstart PGA Season

Sam R. Quinn@SamQuinn_Senior Analyst IIIApril 14, 2012

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 06:  Zach Johnson of the United States hits a shot on the first hole during the second round of the 2012 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2012 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Zach Johnson hasn't won a PGA Tour event since May 30, 2010, but his third round at the 2012 RBC Heritage will get his 2012 PGA season back on track.

Johnson currently sits tied for fifth through his first six holes of the third round. The 2007 Masters champion shot a 68 yesterday to spring up the leaderboard, making up for his slightly disappointing 71 in the opening round.

He currently sits at five-under, three shots behind the leader, Colt Knost.

The golfers between Johnson and Knost boast less than stellar career results, none of them ever winning a major PGA Tour event.

If Johnson is able to climb up the leaderboard and win the RBC Heritage, it will reverse the course of his season. 

Here's why.


1. Confidence Factor

When any athlete suffers a long drought between victories, it has a huge impact on their psyche. Johnson is in that position right now, as he has gone almost two years since his last PGA Tour victory.

Once he gets the monkey off his back, he'll be able to improve his play and break free from the up-and-down stretch that he is in the midst of.

Johnson finished in the 32nd at the Masters, 11th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and 46th at the Transitions Championship.

If he is able to secure a win on the heels of a great third round, it will bode extremely well for his confidence.


2. The Players Championship Is Less Than a Month Away

With less than a month remaining until the Players Championship at Sawgrass, Johnson would love nothing more than to get back into the winner's circle right before one of the biggest tournaments of the year.

The Stadium course at TPC at Sawgrass is widely known as one of the most challenging golf courses on the pro circuit. Johnson needs all the momentum he can get leading up to May 7, when the tournament beings.


3. Eliminate Past Notions

Over the course of his career, Johnson hasn't been known as a guy who can string together consecutive top finishes. That idea has been backed up by his 2012 results, in which he's finished in the top-20 four times, but also finished 33rd, 36th and 54th.

Johnson will be able to use an impressive third round to grab momentum going into the final round. He'll then have the opportunity to keep that momentum going into the next three tournaments leading up to the Players Championship.

Inconsistency has prevented Johnson from joining the top-tier golfers on the PGA circuit, but if he puts out a quality showing in today's round then he should be able to get rid of that tag in the future.