Coming off an unexpected victory last week in the Texas Open, the 2007 Masters champion shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday for a share of the first-round lead with Marc Turnesa in the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
All in all, it was pretty boring, Johnson said. I feel boring golf is one where you hit the ball on the fairway, hit the ball on the green and give yourself a chance at a birdie. It was boring because I hit a lot of fairways. I missed one on seven just because I hit it too far. Then, I believe I missed a fairway on the 11th, and that was it. I picked my target, swung at it and dun, dun, dun, da, da.
After closing with weekend rounds of 62 and 64 in San Antonio, Johnson had 10 birdies on a sunny, windless day at TPC Summerlin. He opened with a 4-under 32 on the back nine, then birdied Nos. 1-5 and finished with another birdie on No. 9.
The greens were in great shape, Johnson said. The only things you really have to pay attention to is where the Stratosphere (tower) is and the roll of the fairway.
The 62s were a stroke off the course record set by Davis Love III in 2001.
Johnsons victory last week was his fourth on the PGA Tour.
I think its just the confidence, Johnson said. Confidence in that my fundamentals are going in the right direction and confidence in my execution being good, especially down the stretch.
Turnesa also birdied the par-4 ninth to complete a bogey-free round.
Im just trying to make a lot of birdies because its going to take a lot of them to win this tournament, said Turnesa, a PGA Tour rookie. Theres no defense without the wind. I came in with no expectations at all, and thats probably why I played well. This week will be all about putting and, obviously, I putted great today.
Michael Allen, Nick Watney, Matt Kuchar and Ken Duke opened with 63s, and Canadian Open winner Chez Reavie, Kevin Na, John Mallinger, Nick Flanagan shot 64s. U.S. Ryder Cup players Hunter Mahan and Chad Campbell, a former UNLV star, topped a group at 65.
The 49-year-old Allen also had a bogey-free round.
I made some 10-footers and a few putts, Allen said. I didnt make a ton of bombs or anything. Out here, you keep the ball in play and try and make sure you make pars at worst, and stay away from the few tricky shots. Then, the rest of the course, you just know youve got to make birdies, thats for sure.
I saw the scoreboard when we were on 15 or 16 with 9 under. Thats (Johnsons score of 62) pretty good after you come back from winning last week to come out here and put up 62. Hes a great competitor.