Zach Johnson stood behind the fourth green looking at his club and then the ball that rolled within 4 feet of the hole.
“I got lucky,” Johnson said about his second shot on the 244-yard par 3 – his 13th hole Thursday – after his tee shot went through the green and stopped in a clump of grass.
Three holes later, Johnson was so deep in a greenside bunker that he couldn’t even be seen from the other side of the green until he popped up to watch his blast over the ridge to 21/2 feet from the cup.
Those par-savers were part of a bogey-free 6-under 64 that gave him a one-stroke lead after the first round at the Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, where 20-30 mph winds whipped through the big oak trees lining the fairways.
“Today was great. I got off to a good start, just hit some quality shots. I didn’t put myself ever in a position that was too worrisome,” Johnson said. “I kept the golf course in front me. I attacked when I could attack. I had a couple of nice saves when I needed it. … I’ve got zero complaints.”
Jason Dufner, rookie Harris English, Tom Gillis and Kyle Reifers were tied for second.
Sergio Garcia, the 2001 Colonial champ in the same group as Johnson, shot a 66 to match Chris DiMarco, Tommy Gainey and Andres Romero.
CHAPMAN IN FRONT
Roger Chapman shot a 3-under 68 to take the first-round lead in the Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Mich.
The Englishman is playing his second tournament of the year after tying for 16th this month in the European Senior Tour’s Mallorca Open.
John Cook was a stroke back in the major championship, and Steve Pate, J.L. Lewis, Jeff Sluman, Jay Haas, David Frost and Jim Carter followed at 70.
Bernhard Langer and Mark Calcavecchia shot 73. Seattle-native Fred Couples shot a 76.
ACROSS THE POND
Ireland’s Peter Lawrie and Scotland’s David Drysdale shared the first-round lead at 6-under 66 in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in Virginia Water, England.
England’s Justin Rose was a stroke back along with Spain’s Alvaro Quiros, Swedes Niclas Fasth and Richard S. Johnson and Wales’ Jamie Donaldson in the European Tour’s flagship event.
Second-ranked Luke Donald, the defending champion, topped a group at 68. Top-ranked Rory McIlroy had a 74.