Former champ Johnson makes move.
Every year, two-time major winner Zach Johnson looks forward to playing the Sony Open in Hawaii and strolling the Waialae Country Club grounds.
In 11 previous appearances dating back to 2004, Johnson has three top-10s, including a win in 2009, missing the cut only twice en route to earning $1.43 million on this stop on the PGA Tour.
On Thursday, he opened with a ho-hum 69 that left him 10 shots behind first-round leader Justin Thomas. Johnson closed that gap somewhat with a 9-under 61 that left him tied for third with Justin Rose and Hudson Swafford. Had he sunk his 35-foot eagle putt at the last, he would have become the first person on tour to shoot three 60s through the course of a career.
Still, 9 under is 9 under in one round.
“It was good,” Johnson said. “Kind of sluggish early and then you get one putt to drop and it just kind of cannonballed there. I had a lot of good looks, and I didn’t make everything, but I certainly hit some close and capitalized.”
Johnson made eagle from the sand trap at his ninth hole (No. 18).
“And that always helps the cause,” Johnson said. “As the day went on, I think it probably became more solid.”
So, what’s the difference between 69 on Thursday and 61 on Friday, other than eight shots?
“Combination of everything,” Johnson said. “I controlled my flight better and made some putts. A lot of everything.”
Zach Johnson hit out of a greenside bunker on 18 for an eagle on Friday.