FORT WORTH, Texas — Dustin Johnson had played Colonial only once before, six years ago, when he didn’t even make it to the final round.
In his return to Hogan’s Alley, Johnson took a one-stroke lead after Thursday’s first round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational
Johnson shot a bogey-free 5-under 65 on Thursday, driving a lot of 3-irons off the tees into the fairways and hitting 16 of 18 greens in regulation.
His only birdie on the back nine was a 2-footer at the 177-yard 16th hole. That was enough to lead after his front-side 31 that included a 45-foot birdie putt on the difficult par-4 fifth hole.
Davis High graduate Nick Watney, on the other hand, had no birdies in his first round as he struggled to a 4-over 74. The former Blue Devil endured a run of three straight bogeys on holes 9-11 before righting the ship to shoot pars the rest of the way.
Hunter Mahan, playing in the group ahead of Johnson, led before a double-bogey 6 at the 433-yard 18th hole for a 66. He was tied for second with Harris English, Tim Wilkinson and Robert Streb.
Jimmy Walker, a three-time winner this season, and 20-year-old Dallas native Jordan Spieth were in the group of 10 players at 67.