Bogey-free Johnson takes lead

European Tour

Dustin Johnson holds a one shot lead in the Open Championship after staying bogey-free in the first round at St Andrews.

The American shot a total of five birdies and one eagle to card a seven-under 67 on the Old Course, as he continues his hunt for a first ever major title.

Johnson told Sky Sports that his bogey free round and healthy score were the result of a good plan coming together.

“Everybody knows the weather Friday and Saturday is going to be very difficult, so I thought it was very important to get off to a good start and try to make as many birdies as you can,” he said.

“The next couple of days it’s going to be very difficult… golf is going to be interesting tomorrow, but I enjoy the challenge. I like it.

“You’ve got to be very creative. You’ve got to use your imagination a lot when you’re out there when the wind is blowing that hard.”

Trailing Johnson by a single shot on six-under are his compatriots Robert Streb and Zach Johnson, South Africa’s Retief Goosen, Scotland’s Paul Lawrie, England’s Danny Willet and Australia’s Jason Day.

Another shot back on five under and tied for eighth are three more Americans in Jordan Spieth, Jordan Niebrugge and Kevin Nah and South Africans Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen.

Johnson and Spieth played in the same group in round one and already look like direct rivals for the 144 Open title.

The 31-year-old finished tied for second with Oosthuizen and a shot behind winner Spieth at the US Open last month after three-putting the final, when a birdie would have seen him force a play-off.

Johnson has had several near misses at majors during his career, and also finished tied for sixth at this year’s Masters, tied for fifth at the PGA Championship and tied for second at the 2011 Open Championship at the Royal St George’s Golf Club in Kent.

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