Last week, after winning the first leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs, Dustin Johnson posed a frightening thought for the other 95 players who advanced to this week's Dell Technologies Championship. The world No.1 said he was beginning to feel like he was in "complete control" of his game again, similarly to how he felt when he ripped off three consecutive wins earlier this season.
Just four days later, it looks like nothing has changed. The 2016 U.S. Open champion opened with a first-round five-under 66 at TPC Boston in Norton, Mass., on Friday to take a one shot lead.
Johnson's round began on the back nine, where he got off to a great start, making birdie at the par-4 10th. He added two more birdies and one bogey, before reaching the 18th hole, where he hit a 220-yard 7-iron to five feet to set up an eagle on the par 5. He dropped one more shot at the first hole (his 10th), then made birdies at the second and fourth holes before parring each remaining hole. Johnson hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation, and ranks first in the field in total strokes gained and strokes gained tee to green.
Three players are just one stroke back, including Sergio Garcia, whose round featured six birdies and two bogeys. The Masters champion chose to skip the Northern Trust, something he could afford to do because of his place in the FedEx Cup standings, and the move looks like it may have paid off. Friday's 67 is just his second sub-70 round in his last seven rounds.
Kyle Stanley, Jon Rahm and Marc Leishman are tied with Garcia after posting four-under 67s.
Coming off an ugly performance in New York, Phil Mickelson bounced back on Friday, carding a two-under 69 that featured just one bogey. A high finish in Boston could be what Lefty needs to earn a Presidents Cup captain's pick from Steve Stricker.
Rickie Fowler also shot at two-under 69 with just one bogey and is three back.
Playing alongside leader Dustin Johnson were Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. Thomas' even-par 71 has him just five shots off the lead, while Spieth sits six back after carding a one-over 72. Rory McIlroy and Hideki Matsuyama also posted a one-over 72s.
Just when it looked like Jason Day was rounding into form, he went backwards on Friday. The Australian shot a four-over 75 and is nine shots back.