Los Angeles - Zach Johnson lived up to his
stature as the top-ranked player in the field, firing 65 to seize a share of
the clubhouse lead after the first round of the weather-hit John Deere Classic.
The American, who won this PGA Tour event
in 2012, is tied with Ryan Moore and Patrick Rodgers atop the leaderboard of
the John Deere, which was interrupted by Thursday's mid-round rain delay.
Johnson and the others are at six-under
while Andrew Loupe was at eight-under but with four holes to go before the
finish of his opening round.
Johnson got hot at the end of his
bogey-free round, birdieing four of the final five holes. It was the 12th time
he played a John Deere round without a bogey, extending his tournament record.
"There was not many mistakes, and if I
did get in trouble, I kind of got myself out of it in pretty, I'd say,
consistent, in a good way," Johnson said.
"I felt like I left some out there,
too, at the same time. I made some putts, but yet I missed some very makeable
ones early on in my day and kind of in the middle of the round, too," he
"I don't know what it is, but I love
the golf course. I love the putting surfaces. I do know the moment I feel like
I can take this place down is the moment it can bite me, so I've still got to
stay focused and keep the pedal down."
The world's number 22, Johnson is one of
just two players ranked in the top 50 competing this week. Kevin Na, ranked
34th, was two-under through 12 holes.
Tom Gillis is also at six-under through 16
holes. Gillis came in second in the John Deere Classic last year, losing in a
playoff to Jordan Spieth, who decided to skip this week's event.
Nearly half of the field failed to complete
the opening round in the next-to-last USPGA Tour event of the season ahead of
the FedExCup playoffs.