Dustin Johnson shot a four-under 66 Thursday in the first round of the FedEx St. Jude Classic, a tournament he withdrew from in the first round a year ago, but had won in 2012.
Still seeking his first PGA Tour win since last year's WGC-Cadillac Championship, Johnson is one stroke behind co-leaders Tom Hoge, Seung-Yul Noh and Shawn Stefani at TPC Southwind in Memphis.
“I got off to a rough start, but closed the back nine really great,” said Johnson. “I feel like I’m swinging really well (and) giving myself chances. I played a lot better today than my score. That’s about as high as I could have shot.”
Jamie Donaldson, Brian Gay, Steve Stricker, Colt Knost and Miguel Angel Carballo also are at four under, tied for fifth and just a shot off the lead.
Phil Mickelson shot an even-par 70, five shots off the lead and tied for 40th with Brooks Koepka and Ernie Els.
Wesley Bryan, better known as half of the Bryan Bros. trick shot duo, played in his first PGA Tour event following two wins on the Web.com Tour this year and shot an even-par 70.
A number of promising young players made their professional debuts on Thursday, including Lee McCoy, Robby Shelton and Matthew NeSmith. McCoy shot one-over 71, while Shelton and NeSmith each shot four-over 74.