Johnson fires up, McIlroy, Spieth in lacklustre start

NORTON (Massachusetts) • Dustin Johnson continued his hot streak on Friday, firing an opening-round five-under 66 at the Dell Technologies Championship for a one-stroke lead over the star-studded PGA Tour play-off field.

World No. 1 Johnson picked up where he left off when he won the Northern Trust event, making another roaring start in the second leg of the FedExCup Play-offs.

"When you win, you're playing well, so it gives you a lot of confidence," said the American. "For me, that was one thing that was probably lacking a little bit the last few months.

"I wasn't seeing the shots that I wanted to see. I wasn't hitting them consistently. So the confidence was just down a little bit.

"But you know, after last week, obviously I've got a lot of confidence now."

He is in good company at the top of the leaderboard as Australian Marc Leishman, American Kyle Stanley, Jon Rahm of Spain and reigning Masters champion Sergio Garcia share second after shooting 67s.

Johnson won the previous week's play-off opening tournament, snapping a five-month winless drought which was exacerbated by a back injury.

He is vying for his fifth win of the year, which would break a tie with PGA champion Justin Thomas for most on the US Tour this season.

Defending champion Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland did not have a good start, carding a 72 and is tied for 42nd with world No. 2 Jordan Spieth.

The post-season field is now down to the top 100 players this week. The top 70 players on the FedExCup points list after the Dell advance to the BMW Championship in Lake Forest, Illinois.

In Portland, South Korea's Chun In Gee fired a four-under 68 to maintain a share of the lead at the halfway stage of the LPGA Tour's Portland Classic.

Chun has a two-round total of 10-under 134, which leaves her in a three-way tie with 19-year-old Canadian Brooke Henderson, who shot a 67, and veteran American Stacy Lewis, who had a bogey-free 64.

Chun's 68 followed a 66 on Thursday as she seeks her first win of the year after four runner-up finishes.

"I really like this course. Also the spectators are so kind here," said Chun, who has six top-three results this year.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

PGA DELL TECHNOLOGIES CHAMPIONSHIP
Day 3: StarHub Ch204, tomorrow, 1am

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 03, 2017, with the headline 'Johnson fires up, McIlroy, Spieth in lacklustre start'. Print Edition | Subscribe