Johnson joins the party
Zach Johnson surged into a share of the lead following his second round of 67 at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions on Saturday.
The American is locked in a four way tie for the lead with fellow countryman Jimmy Walker, first round leader Russell Henley and South Korea’s Sang-Moon Bae in Kapalua in Hawaii.
Johnson birdied the fourth and fifth before a three-putt lead to a dropped shot on the par three eighth. This seemed to inspire him though, as the 2007 Masters winner rallied to roll in birdies on the next three holes, as well as the 15th and 18th to leave him on 11 under after two rounds.
The world number 18 birdied all the par fives, though the final hole required a touch of class. After a lofty drive and accurate 3-wood, Johnson hit an iron to the back of the green.
“I had a full shot,” revealed the 38-year-old on espn.go.com.
“At the same time, usually you’ve got to play 15 yards from the hole. That’s strange and rare, but that’s the way it is. We played a little early today. The ball just didn’t release. You have to pay attention there. As we get more wind the next couple days, I think this place will dry out.”
Henley was slightly disappointed following his three under 70, five shots more than his opening round, which still remains the lowest round of the tournament so far.
“I think it’s so competitive,” said Henley.
“I think the way guys look at it now, it’s a great opportunity to have a good finish and get off to a great start, if not win.”
The chasing pack includes WGC-Cadillac Championship winner Patrick Reed, Charley Hoffman and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama all on ten under. Hoffman equalled Matsuyama for the lowest round of the day with his seven under 66.
“Second round of the year, just trying to get my feet wet,” quipped Hoffman.
“Made a bunch of birdies, hit a lot of good shots, and one unfortunate swing. You can get away with a few bad swings out here, but not on the 17th hole.”
World number four Bubba Watson and Australia’s Jason Day are four shots off the pace on seven under.
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