THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Earlier this week, Zach Johnson met for a day-and-a-half with his “team” – everyone who has an impact on his performance during the course of a season.
“We had our end of the year summit, which is essentially a day and a half of discussion and formulating and planning and that sort of thing,” he explained. “I like doing that out here.”
One of the main areas where they discussed needing improvement was in par-5 performance. Perhaps ironically – or maybe by design – Johnson played the five par-5s at Sherwood Country Club in 4 under on Thursday, helping him claim an opening-round lead with a 5-under 67.
“That's actually one of my, I don't want to say priorities, but a highlight that we're looking into next year is trying to play those holes a little bit better, strategy wise,” he said afterward. “I don't know if that's why I did that today.”
Johnson opened with a pair of birdies and added five more during the round, a result of a hot putter throughout the day.
“I putted it great. You'd like to say you left some out there, and maybe I did, but I made a fair amount, as well. Just a real solid day all around, kept the course in front of me, and I was aggressive when I needed to be aggressive and I was conservative when I needed to be conservative. It's nothing more than a decent start.”