KAPALUA, Hawaii — Davis High graduate Nick Watney rolled in a long eagle putt on his final hole of the first round of the Tournament of Champions on Monday to get a share of lead.
But with the event already three days behind schedule because of high wind, Watney’s day wasn’t done. The former Blue Devil, who shot a 4-under 69 in the opening round, came back to card a 73 in his second 18 holes on Monday.
Dustin Johnson also had a 69 in his first round, then added a 66 to take the tournament lead at 11-under as the PGA Tour finally got its 2013 season started.
Watney is at 4-under and tied for seventh with the event set to wrap up with 18 holes Tuesday.
Johnson, meanwhile, missed only three greens in regulation. Two of his three bogeys came on three-putts from inside 25 feet on perhaps the slowest greens PGA Tour players will see all year. He had seven putts at eagle over 36 holes, four on the back nine of his second round. He converted the last one from six feet on his final hole for a three-shot lead over Steve Stricker.
“I hit the ball really well this afternoon,” said Johnson, who typically makes understatements like this when his game is right where he wants it.
Stricker started the long day wondering if he could even finish. About a month ago, he began feeling a shooting pain down his left side when he shifted his weight in that direction, and he was limping badly coming down the hill on the 18th in the middle of his second round. But from 67 yards away, his pitch rode the slope and wind to perfection and dropped for eagle, and his spirits lifted.
Stricker added a pair of birdies on the front nine and had a 67 to reach 138.
Bubba Watson birdied his last hole for a 69 and was four shots out of the lead. Keegan Bradley (69) and Brandt Snedeker (70) were another shot behind. They were the only players within five shots of Johnson.