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Roach grabs PGA Palmetto lead with No.1 Johnson one back

Wes Roach, chasing his first US PGA title, made three birdies and an eagle within the first six holes on the best way to grabbing a one-stroke lead on the Palmetto Championship at Congaree.

The 32-year-old American, whose greatest profession end was a share of third in Detroit in 2019, fired a seven-under par 64, one off his profession low, for his first in a single day PGA lead.

“I did everything pretty well. I drove it nice. I putted as good as I have in a while,” Roach mentioned. “It feels great. Hard work paying off a little bit.

“It’s simply 18 holes and there is a lengthy methods to go, however I’m simply going to do my greatest to remain current on the market and proceed to hit high quality photographs.”

Top-ranked hometown hero Dustin Johnson fired a bogey-free 65 to share second with fellow Americans Doc Redman and Chesson Hadley and South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen while Venezuela’s Jhonattan Vegas was sixth on 66.

“It was a extremely strong day and I’m positively happy with the spherical. I’m taking part in effectively,” Johnson said.

“I’ve been swinging effectively for some time, simply have not actually seen the outcomes. Made a number of putts, lastly put a spherical collectively. If I can preserve the putter rolling it’ll be a enjoyable week.”

The event is a one-off replacement tournament for the Canadian Open, which was canceled due to Covid-19, and serves as the final tuneup for next week’s US Open at Torrey Pines.

Roach holed birdie putts from 10 feet at the par-5 second and seven feet at the third before holing out from 104 yards at the par-5 fourth and adding a birdie from five feet at the sixth.

“I obtained off to a superb begin, a pleasant up and down from the sand on one after which made a pair birdies,” Roach said. “I holed out on the fourth in order that ws a pleasant bonus as effectively.”

He added birdies at the ninth and par-5 12th and answered a bogey at 13 with a birdie at 16 from just inside 19 feet.

“It was sort of on cruise management,” Roach said. “It’s good to see the ball rolling the place I’m trying and going within the gap is a bonus.”

Johnson, the 2016 US Open and 2020 Masters winner, won February’s Saudi International but hasn’t cracked a US top-10 since February at Riviera.

It was Johnson’s lowest opening round since last November’s Masters victory despite no birdies on par-5 holes.

– ‘A really solid day’ –

Johnson, who began on the back nine, dropped his approach inches from the cup to set up at birdie at 15, holed four birdie putts from five to 10 feet and closed by chipping in from 82 feet at the ninth.

“I missed it in the fitting spots once I did miss it, however hit numerous actual high quality iron photographs and gave myself numerous appears,” Johnson said. “It was only a actually strong day and sort of had good management of my golf ball.”

Van Rooyen fired a season low after missing the cut in his past four starts.

“Made some actually strong par saves, just a few momentum builders actually, and from there on issues simply flowed properly,” the South African mentioned.

Hadley, whose solely PGA win got here on the 2014 Puerto Rico Open, matched his low rating of the season and seeks his first prime 10 since sharing ninth on the 2019 US Open, his greatest end in 9 main begins.

World quantity 156 Redman, whose greatest end was because the 2019 Detroit runner-up, managed his first top-10 of the 12 months by ending ninth finally month’s Byron Nelson.


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