Russell Henley fired an opening-round 64 to upstage the No. 1 player in the world and take the early lead at the Northern Trust, the opening tournament of the FedEx Cup, on Thursday.
Henley stroked eight birdies, seven of them on putts of 12 feet or fewer. He also put an 80-foot chip in for a birdie.
“I don’t know what the key is, or the secret,” Henley said. “I just tried to hit the fairway, make sure I hit the green when I was in the fairway, and the greens are great and I rolled in a couple of putts.”
Dustin Johnson is a stroke behind Henley with his best start since before the fall that kept hi out of The Masters in April. He is 5-under and had three birdies in his last six holes at Glen Oaks.
“Today was much easier than it has been in the past,” Johnson said. “I’ve been saying it’s close and I’ve seen signs of it. But today was the first day where I felt like all day I was really in control of the swing. Hit a lot of really good shots. Drove it well. Did everything really well. It’s the first time in a long time I’ve done that.”