"Boring" style marks Johnson out as Celtic Manor natural

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

NEWPORT, Wales (Reuters) - Rock-steady Zach Johnson takes great pride in playing "boring golf," an attribute which could make him one of the trump cards for the United States at the Ryder Cup.

The former U.S. Masters champion is one of the straightest hitters in the game and is expected to play in all five matches this week on a rain-sodden Celtic Manor layout where the rough is thick and long.

"My game is fairly obvious," Johnson told reporters on Wednesday as rain pounded the roof of the media center by the first tee. "It's not that flashy. It's pretty boring. I prefer boring golf.

"I drive the ball pretty straight, hit my irons pretty straight on the green, make a few putts and my short game is decent."

Johnson's accurate game would appear to be ideally suited to the Twenty Ten course where rain has been forecast for the first and third days of competition on Friday and Sunday.

"The rough here is very thick and it's penal but I don't mind that," the 34-year-old said.

"Am I a good wet weather player? I'm very familiar with it. On tour we are in (weather) delays all the time."

Johnson made his only previous Ryder Cup appearance at the K Club in Ireland in 2006 when appalling wet weather was a significant factor before Europe won the trophy for a third successive time.

"It certainly didn't work in our favor unfortunately but we have a different team this year."

Johnson's own putting has been highly touted by no less a figure than world number one and Ryder Cup team mate Tiger Woods.

"I've heard Tiger say that," Johnson said. "I think I am a pretty good putter, I'm not going to deny that. I think I've made a lot of pretty big putts."

"Coming down the stretch I prefer putting the pressure on my putter," he said. "I like that. I want that. It doesn't matter the length. It doesn't matter the situation.

"If pressure can be put on my putter, I don't say I like my chances but I certainly relish that opportunity."

(Editing by Tony Jimenez)