Dustin Johnson fired a 5-under-par 66 Friday in the opening round of the Dell Technologies Championship, grabbing the early first round lead at TPC Boston.
Johnson rallied last Sunday in a classic duel with Jordan Spieth to capture the first leg in the FedEx Cup playoffs by winning his fourth PGA Tour event in 2017. The 33-year-old ascended into the top playoff position with the victory last week, and now looks primed to claim his first career FedEx Cup title at East Lake.
Here's why everyone but Johnson should be skeptical of their FedEx Cup title hopes going forward:
Swagger has returned
Johnson picked up three early wins prior to Augusta, but struggled midseason, thanks to a back injury suffered on the eve of The Masters. After missing back-to-back cuts in June, and finishing in a tie for 54th at The Open, Johnson has slowly regained his form. The world No. 1 has carded six straight rounds in the 60s, is 22-under par in that span, and has a scoring average of 66.7.
"The golf game is in good form right now," Johnson told pgatour.com. "I'm feeling good, I've got a lot of confidence and I'm looking forward to the rest of this week."
The long game has never really been an issue for the 2016 U.S. Open champion, but he was unreal last week at Glen Oaks Club.
|SG: Off the tee||5.32||1st|
|SG: Tee to green||14.31||1st|
The trend continued Friday in Boston for Johnson, who found nine fairways, missed just two greens in regulation, and averaged 311 yards off the tee.
Scoring without great putting
Johnson won the WGC-Mexico without having a great week on the greens, so unlike like most players, he doesn't need to be firing on all cylinders to lift the trophy. The 33-year-old switched to the TP Collection Juno blade prior to Glen Oaks, and the change has certainly helped his speed, but it's not like he's knocking in long putts to post a low score. On Friday, Johnson made 97 feet of putts, but it included a 36-foot birdie on the first hole of the day, meaning he's not picking up strokes on the field with the flatstick.
Track record at next 2 sites
BMW Championship - Conway Farms Golf Club
While he's never won at the Illinois layout, he improved from his first showing in 2013, posting rounds of 71-62-68-70 two years later. The 13-under total was good enough for a tie for seventh place.
Tour Championship - East Lake Golf Club
Since 2012, Johnson has finished T10, 5th, T5, and T6 in his last four starts in Atlanta. The 33-year-old has also carded 11 rounds out of a possible 16 in the 60s in that span.
(Photos courtesy: Action Images)
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