Dustin Johnson insisted he was back to full strength this week from the staircase incident during the Masters. However, the No.1 player in the world admitted the injury kept him from practising while on the sidelines. Returning from a month-long absence at the Wells Fargo Championship, most envisioned a bit of rust in Johnson’s performance. Judging by the round one leaderboard, that wasn’t quite the case.
In his first competitive round since the accident, Johnson fired a two-under 70 on day one at Eagle Point Golf Club to put himself in early contention.
“As far as physically, no issues,” Johnson said. “I just need to get some rounds in, get some more reps, but I feel like the golf swing’s in good shape. If I hit it like I did today the next few days, then I’ll be right there on Sunday.”
Make no mistakes, there were certainly missteps, with two bogeys on the card. Still, Johnson hit his first 10 greens on way to an impressive 16 of 18 greens in regulation on the day. Perhaps more importantly, he showed no lingering issues off the tee, swinging freely and without hindrance.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 4, 2017
Johnson’s two-under mark was good enough for T-15 at the close of play.
The 32-year-old enters the event as a winner of his past three events. On the season, Johnson has five top-10s in seven appearances, and leads the tour in earnings, strokes gained, driving distance and FedEx Cup points.
Francesco Molinari has the early lead thanks to a six-under 66, with Alex Noren one behind. The best among the eight Australians in the field is Adam Scott (71), while Matt Jones and Curtis Luck both shot 72s.