While most of the golf world has their eyes set on Shinnecock Hills and next week’s U.S. Open, a strong field has assembled in Memphis this week for the FedEx St. Jude Classic, the last time the traditional pre-U.S. Open stop will be held in its current iteration.
Among the notables in the field is World No. 2, Dustin Johnson. DJ has played in the FESJC four of the last six years, winning it in 2012. He finished fifth in 2016 before going on to win the U.S. Open at Oakmont and decided to skip the event last year, leading to a missed cut at Erin Hills, so it’s no surprise that the long-hitting South Carolina native is back this year.
During his first round, DJ had an up-and-down front nine that featured three birdies, but ended with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 9th hole when his approach found the water. Three holes later, Johnson again found himself near one of TPC Southwind’s many water hazards and he had to lose a shoe and roll up his pant leg to play the shot.
The result? A ho-hum chip in for birdie from the hazard.
Ball on the edge of the water.
DJ in the water.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 7, 2018
DJ cracked a big smile as he dried himself off. He would go on to birdie the par-5 16th hole and post 3-under par, which left him two shots behind first-round leader Seamus Power. Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Steve Stricker and Wesley Bryan are among those logjammed at 4-under par and one shot back.