PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Twenty months later, Dustin Johnson finally hit the drive he wanted at Pebble Beach.
On a spectacular day of scenery and scoring at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Johnson blasted a tee shot on the third hole and pitched in for eagle from 41 yards in front of the green. He added another eagle on his way to 9-under 63 and a three-way tie atop the leaderboard Thursday.
Johnson had a three-shot lead at Pebble Beach in the U.S. Open two years ago but shot 82 in the final round. On the third hole of that round, he hit driver left into the bushes for a lost ball and made double bogey.
"Walking off that hole (Thursday), I told Bob (Brown, his caddie), 'This hole owes me a few more than just that one,' " Johnson said.
"I've been working really hard the last three days on the putter and the driver, and it paid off. I'm starting to roll the ball like I usually do."
Also at 9 under were Danny Lee, who matched Johnson's score at Pebble Beach, and Charlie Wi, who shot 61 on Monterey Peninsula's Shore Course.
Tiger Woods, playing in the tournament for the first time in 10 years, had six birdies and shot 4-under 68 at Spyglass Hill to start his PGA Tour season.
The conditions were so good that more than half the field broke par no matter where they were playing. All three courses used in the tournament played about one shot under par.
"I don't know if it's a good sign or a bad sign," Woods said about his 68. "With the scores the way they are, I thought I could have it lower than I did.
"The guys are just tearing this place apart with no wind. I'm not too far away from posting a good number out here."
Ken Duke shot 28 on the back nine at Pebble Beach and was at 8-under 64 along with Brian Harman. In a group of four at 6 under were Nick Watney and Kevin Na, who each had 66, the lowest score from Spyglass.
Tampa resident Ryuji Imada shot 3-under 68 at Monterey Peninsula.
Women's Australian Open: Stacy Lewis and Sarah Kemp shared the lead at 4-under 69 and had a one-stroke lead in Melbourne over Seminole's Brittany Lincicome, top-ranked Yani Tseng and Julieta Granada. Tseng is trying to win the event, sanctioned by Australian Ladies Professional Golf and the Ladies European Tour, for the third straight year. Lexi Thompson, 16, from Coral Springs was at 1-over 74. Tampa resident Kristy McPherson was 4 over and Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse 5 over.
PGA Europe: Rafael Cabrera-Bello made nine birdies in his first 11 holes to finish at 9-under 63 for a two-shot lead over Marcel Siem and Scott Jamieson after the first round of the Dubai Desert Classic. Rory McIlroy was three shots back, making seven birdies on the last 10 holes. He was tied for fourth with six other players, including 2010 PGA Champion Martin Kaymer.