We often hear that pros’ rounds of golf could have and should have probably been a few shots better than what they posted.
Dustin Johnson’s 4-under par 67 in the opening round of The Northern Trust could have been four shots better, but definitely should have been at least one stroke better after he was robbed of an ace on the par-3 6th hole.
Starting on the back nine — technically, beginning on the 9th hole for logistical reasons — DJ played his first eight holes in 4-under par, but a wayward drive into the hazard on the par-5 17th led to a triple-bogey 8.
The 17th was playing as the second-easiest hole on the course. DJ, who leads the PGA Tour in par-5 scoring at 4.46 per pop, surprisingly compounded mistakes that took him from within one shot of the lead to four back over the course of one hole.
In stark contrast, Johnson’s playing partner, Brooks Koepka, made mincemeat of the 594-yard hole, bombing a 310-yard drive, hitting a 272-yard approach and dropping a 25-footer for eagle.
The hole ended in a five-shot swing for the top-2 players in the world, but DJ came all the way back over the next nine to match Koepka at 4-under par for the day.
DJ and Koepka enter Friday’s second round a stroke back of first-round co-leaders Kevin Tway, Jamie Lovemark, Vaughn Taylor and Sean O’Hair.