Dustin Johnson shoots bogey-free 67, trails by 1 at U.S. Open

ByBob Harig ESPN logo
Friday, June 17, 2016

OAKMONT, Pa. -- Dustin Johnson played 18 holes without a bogey, the only player to do so in the first round of the U.S. Open at Oakmont, where his 3-under-par 67 left him one off the lead held by Andrew Landry.

It was the third straight time that Johnson finished a U.S. Open opening round with a score in the 60s and it will be the ninth consecutive U.S. Open round in which he is among the top six players.

"I like the golf course; I've liked it since the first time I saw it last Tuesday,'' said Johnson, who was runner-up to Jordan Spieth at Chambers Bay a year ago. "I think it's just a good, challenging golf course. It's fun to play. You've got to hit a lot of different shots.''

Johnson, who has had several near-misses in major championships, including a year ago at the U.S. Open, where he three-putted the final green from 12 feet to lose by a shot, hit his last 16 greens in regulation and took 32 putts.

His bogey-free round is a rarity in U.S. Opens at Oakmont; there were none here in 2007, when just eight players shot under par during the entire tournament. And there were just two in 1994.

But when Johnson has his game in order, he can be quite effective. He averaged 320 yards off the tee in the first round, significantly higher than the field average of 283.

He admitted the Oakmont course was made easier by the more than 2 inches of rain that kept him from playing on Thursday.

"It's still playing tough,'' Johnson said. "But the practice days we played, the course was really firm and fast. It's still kind of difficult out there. But if we get nice weather, it's going to dry out.''

Johnson, who is paired with Sergio Garcia (68), had only a few moments to reflect on his round, however, as he began his second round at 3:36 p.m.

Earlier, Landry needed only to come out and sink one putt to finish with his 66, the lowest score in the first round of nine U.S. Opens at Oakmont.He won't hit another shot until 7:11 a.m. ET Saturday, when he is set to begin his second round.

"History is history," said Landry, the 624th-ranked player in the world who is making his U.S. Open debut. "I'm just playing golf."

Others to complete their first round include Lee Westwood, who is one stroke off the lead after a 67. It was only the third time in 17 U.S. Open appearances he opened with a round under par.

"It was good, one of the best starts I've ever had," Westwood said. "I felt confident out there and hit a lot of good shots. I was shaping it both ways, which you need to do in U.S. Opens to get at a lot of the flags."

Even with all the rain, only seven players from the early starters broke par. The average score was 75.22.

Shane Lowry of Ireland finished up a 32 on the back nine and joined Garcia at 68. Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson, Danny Lee, Kevin Streelman and Scottie Scheffler were at 69. Scheffler, who just finished his sophomore year at Texas, was among nine players who finished Thursday.

Speith, the defending champion, three-putted the par-5 fourth for a bogey and made only one birdie in his round of 72.

"I didn't shoot myself out of it," Spieth said. "I'm not really sure how my score stands right now, but I know that at the end of the day, the USGA is going to try to have even par win the golf tournament, and I know that I can shoot 2 under in the remaining 54 holes no matter how the course plays. I know I'm capable of it. I'm in it."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.