If Dustin Johnson is feeling any negative effects from the way the PGA Championship concluded at Whistling Straits five years ago, he sure wasn’t showing it in Thursday’s first round at the same venue.
“Today was pretty easy, I would have to say” said Johnson, who was given a two-stroke penalty with victory in sight in 2010 that kept him out of a playoff won by Martin Kaymer.
On Thursday, he shot a six-under 66 and leads by one over Sweden’s David Lingmerth.
“I was swinging well and I was hitting the shots where I was looking, so anytime you’re doing that, it makes things a lot easier on you,” he said.
“I really felt like I was just super patient, stayed focused all day and I was swinging well. The ball was going where I was looking. I was controlling it. In this wind, it’s tough to do, but I did a great job of controlling the golf ball today,” said Johnson.
It marks the third major this year in which Johnson has led after the first round after he shot 65s to start the British Open and U.S. Open, which also ended in disappointment for him as he missed two pressure putts on the 72nd hole at Chambers Bay to hand it to Jordan Spieth.
“I don’t know. I think I’m just playing a little better this year. I don’t know, your guess is as good as mine,” he said of his strong starts this year.
“Right now, today, I really felt like I had my ball under control a lot, like I did at the U.S. Open, so I feel a lot more comfortable right now. We’ll just are have to see what happens. It’s only the first round, we’ve still got a lot of golf to play.” said Johnson.
Nick Taylor finished the day with a one-over 73, while David Hearn shot a four-over 76.
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At the Price Cutter Charity Championship in Springfield, Mo., Brad Fritsch and Corey Conners each shot a four-under 68 and are six off the lead going into Friday’s second round.
Taylor Pendrith finished with a 69.
For all the scores, click here.