FORT WORTH, Texas: Jason Dufner continues to have the hot hand onthe USPGA Tour, firing a five-under par 65 to lie one shot behindleader Zach Johnson after the first round of the Colonial. "A fantastic way to start," Dufner said on Thursday. "You have somequestions after a win last week, how are you going to respond tothat? I came out really quick today and got some birdies." Former winner Johnson grabbed the first-round lead with a six-under64. "Today was great," Johnson said of his 13th consecutive round inthe 60s at this event. |
"I got off to a good start. I just hit quality shots. I didn't putmyself ever in a position that was too worrisome. "The times when I was maybe just in the rough and I had to getmyself up and down, I managed to do that.
"I gave myself a lot of opportunities. I made some long putts, butI missed some shorter ones, so it probably evened out in the end." Dufner won his first PGA title on April 29 at New Orleans, gotmarried the next weekend and joined Hunter Mahan as 2012's onlyrepeat winners by taking the title last week at the Byron NelsonChampionship in nearby Irving. Dufner was in a group at five-under along with fellow AmericansHarris English, Tom Gillis and Kyle Reifers. He birdied five of his first eight holes at Colonial Country Club.He tossed in two more birdies and two bogeys for his share ofsecond.
Dufner began his tournament with a round in the 60s for the eighthtime in 14 starts this year. Spain's Sergio Garcia and Argentina's Andres Romero were in a groupat four-under 66, just two shots back of the leader. Garcia, seeking his first US tour win in four years, had an eagleat the par-five first -- his 10th hole of the day. Garcia won this event in 2001 -- the first of his seven US tourtitles -- and Johnson won two years ago for his most recent PGATour victory.
American Rickie Fowler opened with a two-under 68. Fowler has avictory and a tie for second in his last two tournaments. Matt Kuchar, winner of The Players Championship two weeks ago,carded a 72. - AFP/wm.
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