ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Golf’s Teflon man was back at it Thursday at the Open.
Dustin Johnson rebounded from his U.S. Open disappointment by posting a bogey-free 65 to take the early lead at St. Andrews.
Johnson’s three-putt from 12 feet on the final green at Chambers Bay gave Jordan Spieth his second consecutive major. Johnson claims the close call didn’t linger with him for long – “I wasn’t disappointed, really” – but the R&A displayed a wicked sense of humor by pairing the two stars together for the first two rounds here at the Open, a not-so-subtle reminder of what could have been.
Not that the grouping – or anything else, for that matter – will bother DJ.
“Nothing bad really happened at Chambers Bay,” he said. “I played really well, did everything I was supposed to do. There’s really no bad feelings, only good.”
Maybe it really is that simple, because Johnson picked up right where he left off, playing without a bogey for only the third time in his major career.
Aided by the wind on the front side Thursday, Johnson birdied the second and third holes before making eagle on the par-5 fifth, after stuffing a 195-yard 7-iron to 10 feet. He tacked on a few more birdies on Nos. 9, 10 and 14 before holing back-to-back 15-footers for par on 16 and 17 to stay at the top of the leaderboard.
“I really like the golf course,” he said. “I think it sets up well for me.”
That’s bad news for the rest of the field; Johnson found 75 percent of his fairways while averaging 320 yards off the tee in the first round.
“If DJ keeps driving it the way he is,” Spieth said, “I’m going to have to play my best golf to have a chance.”