Spieth and Johnson share the lead at 7-under-63
The 6,848 yard, par-70 TPC River Highlands course suits the players who shoot less distance and keep their performance under check.
The $6.8 million tournament, Travelers Championship winner has finished in double-digits under par every year since 1994. That parallels Johnson’s career. Of his 12 TOUR wins, 11 have been in double digits – nine of those at 15 under or better. That includes his last win in 2015 at the Open Championship.
Johnson shot 63 to share the lead with the defending champion Spieth, the lowest score in his 43 career-round at TPC River Highlands.
“I feel like every time I get here, it just feels like I should shoot nothing – and it bites me,” Johnson said. “The last couple of years, I’m like, all right, you can’t have any expectations in that regard. You’ve just got to go out and execute.”
Spieth’s round consisted of an extraordinary eagle on the par-5 sixth after posting birdies on third and fifth holes, keeping him 4-under-par on the front nine, which he followed with 3-under-32 in next nine holes, finishing 7-under-63.
Peter Malnati, Brian Harman, and Rory McIlroy, who recently won the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, share the third spot, just a shot back from the co-leaders.
The US Open’s repeating champion Brooks Koepka, only the seventh one to do so, and the first one to do it in last 21 years after Curtis Strange in 1988-1989, shot 2-under-68 to finish for a T-37 on Day 1 along with Keegan Bradley, Scott Stallings, Richy Werenski, Austin Cook, Ted Potter Jr., Ryan Moore, Webb Simpson, J.J. Henry, Hunter Mahan, and Sam Ryder.
Lahiri stood T-23 after an energetic round of 3-under-67 which included four birdies and just a single-bogey on the par-4 third (his 12th hole). He stood T-17 last year with his total score of six-under-274, and a final round of 67.
Lahiri is joined by Xander Schauffele, David Lingmerth, Daniel Berger, Mackenzie Hughes, Ryan Armour, Chez Reavie, Danny Lee, and Alex Cejka.