The Loop

Best round of the day

February 19, 2009

Phil Mickelson's 63 at Riviera Country Club on Thursday was impressive, but I submit that the better performance was the one-under par 70 that Vincent Johnson shot.

Johnson is the recipient of the first Charlie Sifford Exemption, designed to help expand diversity in the game. Johnson, 22, turned pro only last year and has been playing on the Gateway Tour. This is his first PGA Tour event, and given the fact that the Sifford Exemption was announced less than a month ago, and Johnson's invitation extended more than a week later, this opportunity for him was entirely unexpected.

To boot, he has been a focus of attention all week, yet he still managed to shoot a score that after one round ties him for 53rd.

-- John Strege