PGA Dell Technologies Championship: Dustin Johnson nabs early advantage

By The Sports Xchange   |   Sept. 1, 2017 at 9:08 PM
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Dustin Johnson recorded an eagle to highlight a 5-under-par 66 on Friday to seize a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the Dell Technologies Championship in Norton, Mass.

The world's top-ranked golfer, Johnson overcame the early cold and steady wind at TPC Boston to hold a one-stroke edge over Masters champion Sergio Garcia and fellow Spaniard Jon Rahm, as well as Kyle Stanley and Australian Marc Leishman.

Johnson birdied the 10th hole to begin his opening round and converted a putt from five feet for eagle at No. 18 to make the turn at 4-under. His 66 marked his lowest opening round at TPC Boston.

Johnson won last week's The Northern Trust and is vying for his fifth win of the year, which would snap a tie with PGA champion Justin Thomas for most on the Tour this season.

"When you win, you're playing well, so it gives you a lot of confidence," Johnson said. "For me, that was one thing that was probably lacking a little bit the last few months -- just the confidence, just because I wasn't seeing the shots that I wanted to see. I wasn't hitting them consistently. So the confidence was just down a little bit.

"But you know, after last week, obviously I've got a lot of confidence now. I feel like the things I've been working on, they are back to working."

Garcia collected five birdies on the front nine and finished with six against two bogeys before saving his day with a par on his final hole.

Rahm notched four birdies on his final five holes to join the group at 67.

Leishman, who missed last week's cut at The Northern Trust, recorded his second-best opening round on Tour this season with his 4-under 67. He shot a 66 at Quicken Loans National.

Six golfers are tied after carding a 68, one stroke ahead of Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler.

Open Championship winner Jordan Spieth, who lost to Johnson in a sudden-death playoff last week on Long Island, didn't make a birdie until his 13th hole and shot 72.

Defending champion Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland birdied the par-5 final hole to finish at 1-over 72. He did provide the highlight of the day, however, by sinking an uphill putt from 50 feet for a birdie on the par-4 ninth hole.

Kelly Kraft endured a disastrous performance as he accepted a 12 on the par-5 second hole. Kraft, who have may have seen his season come to an end as a result, is 64th in the FedEx Cup.

Kraft hit his third into the water and his fifth shot over the green. He tried to send a shot from a native area, took another penalty drop to go back to the fairway and hit that one into the water. He eventually two-putted for a 12 and withdrew after 14 holes with a sore foot.

Ryan Moore also withdrew after collecting four double-bogeys in his round of 82.

The top 70 players on the FedExCup points list after the Dell Technologies Championship advance to the BMW Championship, contested from Sept. 14-17 at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Ill. Then the top 30 players following the BMW Championship will qualify for the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta from Sept 21-24.

A points reset will take place prior to the Tour Championship, giving all players in the field a mathematical opportunity to win the FedExCup title. The top-five players control their own destiny and would claim the FedExCup with a victory at East Lake.

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