Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dustin Johnson shares lead after first round of PGA Tour Championship

Si Woo Kim celebrates his chip in for birdie on No. 18 with a little club toss to finish off his 67.

Associated Press

Si Woo Kim celebrates his chip in for birdie on No. 18 with a little club toss to finish off his 67.

ATLANTA — Dustin Johnson was in trouble from the start Thursday, just not for long. The game feels easy for the U.S. Open champion, who began his bid for the FedEx Cup title on Thursday with 4-under 66 to share the lead at the Tour Championship.

Johnson had 165 yards from the sand and worried about getting it over the lip of the bunker on the first hole. He hit 8-iron to 2 feet for birdie and was on his way to his sixth consecutive round at 68 or lower.

"It was a very nice shot to start the day," Johnson said with a smile.

Japan's Hideki Matsuyama had three straight birdies early and finished with birdie on the par-5 18th — the nines have been switched at East Lake — for 66, while Kevin Chappell joined them with a bogey-free round.

Johnson is coming off his third victory of the year at the BMW Championship two weeks ago, and there was no indication that anything has changed. He hit a reasonable amount of fairways (eight out of 14) considering the dry, fast conditions, and only once when he was out of position did he fail to save par.

He's the No. 1 seed in the FedEx Cup, The top five seeds only have to win the Tour Championship to claim the $10 million FedEx Cup bonus. The top five were all among the dozen who broke par in the opening round.

Jason Day, the world's No. 1 player who hasn't won in four months, dropped his only shot on the opening hole and was at 67, along with Kevin Kisner and Si Woo Kim.

"I'd like to give Dustin a good run for it," Day said.

Jordan Spieth didn't look like he would post anything near 68 after he was 3 over through two holes. The defending FedEx Cup champion let his short game bail him out in a big way. He holed three straight putts from the 30-foot range — one of them for par — and raced back into the mix on the back nine by holing a bunker shot for birdie right of the 13th green and finishing with a pair of 20-foot birdies.

Also at 68 was Rory McIlroy, who had consecutive double bogeys toward the end of the front nine and pulled himself together with four straight birdies on the back. McIlroy had 68 without making birdie on either of the par 5s.

That wasn't the case for Phil Mickelson. He started his day by holing a 95-foot birdie putt. His fortunes turned on the par-5 sixth when his second shot went over the green and up against a fence, leading to bogey. He hit his next tee shot out of play and made triple bogey, and followed that with double bogey after a drive into the water. Mickelson played 1 under from there to salvage 74. He didn't hit a fairway until the 17th hole, then headed straight to the practice range.

Dustin Johnson shares lead after first round of PGA Tour Championship 09/22/16 [Last modified: Thursday, September 22, 2016 9:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jones: Koetter-Winston exchange highlights latest 'Hard Knocks'

    Bucs

    There are certain things that make HBO's Hard Knocks must-see television.

    Jameis Winston, left, has an exchange with Dirk Koetter that highlights Hard Knocks.
  2. Trevor Plouffe is DFA'd by Rays, Kittredge recalled for now

    Blogs

    INF Trevor Plouffe didn't do much with the opportunity the Rays gave him, and time ran out Tuesday when he was designated for assignment after the game.

    Plouffe hit just .178, with one homer and two RBIs, in 31 games for the Rays, his primary playing time from starting at first or third against lefties.

  3. Rays journal: Offense shows signs of waking up in win over Blue Jays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The drought was so severe that it's still probably too soon to say the Rays are out of it, but scoring a half-dozen runs in Tuesday's 6-5 win over the Blue Jays was another promising sign.

    Corey Dickerson high-fives Wilson Ramos after hitting a solo home run in the third inning, putting the Rays up 2-1.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Blue Jays game

    The Heater

    C Wilson Ramos, coming off right knee surgery, often takes it easy on the bases, though it's not always a good look. But he hustled when he needed to Tuesday and got the Rays a run by beating out a two-out infield single, finishing with three more hits.

  5. Rays are full of ideas they'd like to share when commissioner visits

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Commissioner Rob Manfred is coming to the Trop today. Hmm. Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg will be there to greet him. Hmmmm. And they have a scheduled joint media session. Hmmmmmmmmm.

    Commissioner Rob Manfred isn’t expected to say anything definitive about the Rays’ stadium situation when he visits the team today.