Dustin Johnson is one of three men tied for first place at the TOUR Championship after one day, putting him that much closer to the $10 million prize and the No. 1 ranking in the world.
He showed just how tough he was going to be to beat on the first hole of the day, hitting an 8-iron 163 yards out of a sand trap to within two feet of the hole for a birdie on No. 1.
He finished the day 4-under, tied with Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama and US’ Kevin Chappell for first. If Johnson wins the tournament he will become No. 1 in the world for the first time in his career in addition to winning the FedEx Cup.
Matsuyama had three straight birdies early and added another on No. 18. Chappell was bogey free throughout the round.
If Johnson wins, he will be the third player ranked No. 1 this year. That was also the case last year. Chappell shook his head at Johnson’s form. In the FedEx standings, Chappell would have to win the tournament and have Johnson finish at least 10th in order to win the grand prize.
“With the form Dustin is in, I don’t think that scenario is going to happen for me,” Chappell said. “But there’s a chance to win a golf tournament, and that’s all I’m really focused on.
The trio have a one-stroke lead over Si Woo Kim, Jason Day, and Kevin Kisner. Day would also win the FedEx title outright with a victory.
Another stroke back are Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, the other two former No. 1s in this field. Spieth was in Day’s position here a year ago – he had been No. 1 for a while the stumbled late, allowing Day to pass him in the standings.
Spieth won the TOUR Championship a year ago to take the title and the $10 million, something Day will try to replicate over the next three days.
Only two other players are under par – Matt Kuchar and Adam Scott – both at 1-over.