Although he grew up just over an hour away in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and considers this his home event, Johnson has never finished higher than 20th. And the form that carried him to victory at Augusta was nowhere in sight.
He took two weeks off and, unlike Green, the break did not pay immediate dividends on the course.
"I'm just very rusty," he said. "I took a lot of time off, which I needed. I don't regret that, and I certainly would do it again. But it's very evident that my game is rusty all around."
His tee shot on 14 landed in a bunker, and what happened next only added to his frustration. Johnson flipped his club in frustration after he knocked the ball over the green and into the woods, and his third shot went only a few feet.
"Obviously disappointing," Johnson said. "This is one of those jobs, if you will, that you've got to get over pretty quick. I'm accustomed to that. I never like missing cuts, especially by a shot, especially being close to home."
For Dufner, the Deere Classic has been a good turnaround after a 2 1/2-month stretch he described as "pretty awful."
He missed the cut in five straight tournaments before finishing 62nd and 25 over par at the U.S. Open. He was worn out, kept repeating the same mistakes, but was reluctant to take a break. He finally did last week after missing the cut at the Buick Open.
"For some reason, I had gotten to where my arm swing was a lot higher in my backswing, which really caused me problems because the way I rotate, I don't really have a lot of drop in my hand and arms," Dufner said. "It's always steep to the plane, steep to the plane. It's pretty tough to play steep at this level. You've got to watch your clubface, and I couldn't hit the shots I wanted to do."