LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Sixteen years later, Zach Johnson posted a much-improved first-round score at Conway Farms.
Johnson was one of the few players who had toured the 7,100-yard Tom Fazio design before the PGA Tour came to town. While at Drake, he shot rounds of 81-69 at the 1997 NCAA Championship.
“At that time,” he said, “it was one of the best courses I’d ever seen. It was pretty intimidating back then.”
Not so Thursday, when Johnson shot a bogey-free, 7-under 64 to sit one shot off the lead at the BMW Championship. It continued a months-long stretch of superb play for Johnson, who has five top-8 finishes in his last six starts.
“I’m just really trying to remain patient because I’ve been so high on my game for so long,” Johnson said, “that it’s just a matter of sticking to that patient sort of attitude and mentality because I’ve been so close, so often over the past two or three months.”