NORTON, MA – Dustin Johnson fired a 5-under 66 on Friday and leads the Dell Technologies Championship after round one at TPC Boston.
Johnson started his round with a birdie (on No. 10), and ended his first nine holes with an eagle (No. 18) to make the turn at 4-under. A bogey to start his home nine was quickly followed by a pair of birdies to get to 5 under. The World No. 1 then “rolled” to even par the rest of the way.
“I got off to a good start right out of the gate on the first hole. Made a nice 25-footer on the first hole. Got the day started off nicely,” said Johnson. “Then, you know, just kind of kept it rolling from there.”
A flurry of four birdies over the final five holes got rookie Jon Rahm to 4-under 67, just one off the lead.
“A really good finish to the day. To be honest, it’s one of those rounds, I haven’t said this in a while, where I’ve shot the lowest score I could possibly shoot today with the way I was hitting it,” said Rahm, who is ranked No. 5 in the world.
Sergio Garcia, Marc Leishman and Kyle Stanley are also at 67. A logjam of six players are at 3-under 68.
Rickie Fowler and Phil Mickelson headline a group of 10 players at 2-under 69.
The 69 for Mickelson marked the first sub-70 opening round in two months for the five-time major winner. Afterwards, the 47-year old cited improved health for his performance.
“This is the best energy I’ve had throughout the round and the best focus,” said Mickelson. “My short game has been very disappointing and I haven’t been able to visualize the shot I’ve been trying to hit. Today, and for probably the last few days, I’ve been able to see the shot again. And so it was a good day.”
Aside from Garcia, the season’s three other major winners struggled on Friday. Justin Thomas shot even-par 71, while Jordan Spieth (72) and Brooks Koepka (74) both finished over par.
Defending champion Rory McIlroy birdied the par-5 final hole for a 1-over 72.
TOP 10: ROUND ONE
1 Dustin Johnson -5
T2 Marc Leishman -4
T2 Kyle Stanley -4
T2 Sergio Garcia -4
T2 Jon Rahm -4
T6 Kevin Na -3
T6 Luke List -3
T6 Brian Harman -3 ‘
T6 Jason Dufner -3
T6 Jonas Blixt -3
T6 Grayson Murray -3
OTHER NOTABLES: ROUND ONE
T12 Louis Oosthuizen, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler -2
T22 Paul Casey -1
T30 Adam Scott, Patrick Reed, Justin Thomas E
T42 Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama +1
T65 Jhonattan Vegas +2
T69 Brooks Koepka, Branden Grace +3
T75 Bubba Watson, Jason Day +4
T91 Zach Johnson, Daniel Berger +6
NOTES: ROUND ONE
- This marks the 13th time DJ has held the first-round lead/co-lead. He has converted just one into a win – the 2010 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am.
- Bubba Watson, who began the week at No. 72 in the FedExCup race, posted a 4-over 75 and is currently projected at No. 85. If he misses the cut, Watson would fail to advance to the BMW Championship for the first time in his career.
- Kyle Stanley, who is at 4-under 67, posted the lone bogey-free round of the day. It’s Stanley’s best-ever round in Boston.
- Garcia, who skipped last week’s Northern Trust, and entered the week at No. 30 in the standings, is at T2. The 37-year old is seeking his first top-10 finish since his playoff win at Augusta.
VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: ROUND ONE
QUOTABLE: DUSTIN JOHNSON
“I feel like — I finally feel like I’m swinging the club how I was, you know, when I was playing really well at the beginning of the year. I’ve got a lot of control over it. I feel like I can control my golf ball very well, which is what you’ve got to do in these conditions.”