FORT WORTH, Texas – Dustin Johnson had played Colonial only once before, six years ago when he didn’t even make it to the final round.
In his return to Hogan’s Alley, Johnson took a one-stroke lead after the first round.
Johnson shot a bogey-free 5-under 65 Thursday, driving a lot of 3-irons off the tees into the fairways and hitting 16 of 18 greens in regulation.
I’ve got to keep doing what I’m doing, Johnson said. I’ve got a pretty good game plan for the golf course off the tee. So I’m going to stick to that, just trying to keep getting birdie looks on every hole.
His only birdie on the back nine was a 2-footer at the 177-yard 16th hole. That was enough to lead after his front-side 31 that included a 45-foot birdie putt on the difficult par-4 fifth hole.
Hunter Mahan, playing in the group ahead of Johnson, led before a double-bogey 6 at the 433-yard 18th hole for a 66. He was tied for second with Harris English, Tim Wilkinson and Robert Streb.
Jimmy Walker, a three-time winner this season, and 20-year-old Dallas native Jordan Spieth were in the group of 10 players at 67.
Mahan started eagle-birdie and was already 6 under after a 3-foot birdie on the 178-yard eighth hole. He had two bogeys and two more birdies before his drive at the 18th hole into the right rough, with trees blocking a clear shot to the green. After punching the ball back into the fairway, his approach came settled on the edge of the fringe and he eventually two-putted from 7 feet.
You have to get over it, Mahan said about the disappointing 18th. It’s all about the drive there.
Adam Scott, playing as the No. 1 player in the world for the first time, shot 71 after playing his first nine holes at 4-over 39.
Scott had bogey-6 on the straight 631-yard 11th hole, his second of the day, when he hit twice from fairway bunkers. After a two-putt from 11 feet at the 433-yard 18th hole, Scott was bogey-free the rest of the way, with consecutive short birdies after making the turn.
CHAMPIONS TOUR: In Benton Harbor, Mich., Joe Durant knows his future is on the Champions Tour. That doesn’t stop him from wanting to play on the PGA Tour.
Making his third Champions Tour start after turning 50 on April 7, the four-time PGA Tour winner had seven birdies and a bogey at Harbor Shores for a 6-under 65 and a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Senior PGA Championship, the tour’s second major of the year.
Dan Forsman, fighting an arthritic left hip, opened with a 66, and Brad Faxon had a 67. Mark Brooks and P.H. Horgan III shot 68, and two-time Senior PGA winner Jay Haas and Colin Montgomerie were in the group at 69.
Kenny Perry, the winner last week in the Regions Tradition in Alabama, topped the group at 70 with Bernhard Langer, Tom Lehman, John Cook and Tom Watson.
LPGA: In Mobile, Ala., Catriona Matthew took the first-round lead in the Airbus LPGA Classic, holing a bunker shot for an eagle and finishing with an 8-under 64.
The 44-year-old Scot rebounded from a bogey on the par-4 12th – her third hole in the morning round – with the eagle on the par-5 13th and birdied seven of her final 11 holes.
Second-ranked Stacy Lewis, No. 4 Suzann Pettersen and South Korea’s Eun-Hee Ji shot 66.
EUROPEAN TOUR: In Virginia Water, England, Thomas Bjorn set a course record at Wentworth with a 10-under-par 62 on the opening day of the BMW PGA Championship.
Bjorn grabbed an eagle and eight birdies to end his round two shots clear of Shane Lowry, who shot 64 on the West Course.