Dustin Johnson doesn’t have a top-10 on the PGA Tour in almost 4 months. He missed the lower in his Masters title protection and missed the lower in his most up-to-date begin, the PGA Championship.
His putter hasn’t cooperated a lot this 12 months – putters, truly – however to have watched him, you’ll have discover his recreation, on the entire, has been slightly off since his second main triumph in November.
Thursday, nevertheless, issues got here collectively. He drove the ball well, hit his share of greens, received up and down each time when he didn’t, and made sufficient putts to shoot 6-under 65 in the opening spherical of the Palmetto Championship at Congaree. He’s a part of a gaggle one again of chief Wes Roach.
“I don’t know. I just hit shots, wherever it goes, it goes,” Johnson stated concerning his efficiency. “But, yeah, like I said, I was swinging good today, gave myself a lot of opportunities and hit some good putts. So, I’m just pleased with the way I played.”
Among the morning wave, Johnson led the sector in strokes gained: tee to inexperienced. He hit 10 of 14 fairways and 11 of 18 greens in regulation. But he was additionally 7-for-7 in scrambling and solely wanted to make 67 toes of putts to notch six birdies.
After parring his first 5 holes in Round 1, Johnson’s iron play, in specific, received scorching. From the 18th gap – his ninth of the spherical – by the sixth, Johnson didn’t have a birdie putt exterior of 12 toes. He transformed 4 of these after which capped his day with a chip-in from 82 toes at the par-4 ninth.
“I’m playing well, I feel like I’ve been playing pretty good all year, just, like I said, I haven’t putted well, short game’s been a little off, but today I missed it in the right spots when I did miss it, but hit a lot of real quality iron shots and gave myself a lot of looks,” Johnson stated.
Surprisingly, Johnson didn’t make a birdie on any of Congaree Golf Club’s three par 5s. All six birdies got here on the par 4s.
This is Congaree’s first enterprise as a PGA Tour host. The Palmetto Championship was introduced in April after the RBC Canadian (*65*) was canceled for the second consecutive 12 months in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Johnson, who has held the world No. 1 rating since his win at The Northern Trust in August, is attempting to win for a 25th time on the PGA Tour and for the primary time in his native South Carolina.
“Obviously, I get a lot of support here in South Carolina, being I’m a South Carolina native, and, yeah, it’s been great,” stated Johnson, who was born in Columbia. “Hopefully, I can keep it rolling for the rest of this week.”