Sony Open in HawaiiJanuary 12, 2018

Zach Johnson: 'I'd love young guys [to experience] one year of what we experienced with Tiger'

Christian Petersen

Tiger Woods and Zach Johnson.

HONOLULU — We’re still a couple of weeks from Tiger Woods’ season debut at the Farmers Insurance Open, and there’s plenty of speculation of how the 14-time major champion will fare at Torrey Pines and beyond.

The feeling among most of the game’s current young stars is that they’d welcome playing against Woods at or near his best.

It’s a notion that has drawn a few wry smiles among veteran players.

“I’d love to have these young guys that are dominating the game have a piece, just one year of what we experienced,” said Zach Johnson following a 67 that has him near the top of the leader board going into the weekend at the Sony Open. “I’m not going to disregard the talent that is out here right now. I guess I look at it like this, you had the Hogans, the Sneads, Byron Nelsons, Palmer, and then Nicklaus and Watson. Then Greg Norman, Couples, Seve era, and then it pretty much went into Tiger and it was Tiger for a long, long time.”

As for what Johnson expects when Woods' returns? He’s as curious as anyone.

And optimistic.

“If he’s playing well and he’s healthy,” he said, “there’s no individual in the world who amazes me more than him on the golf course.”