Dustin Johnson one shot off the pace in South Carolina
Séamus Power opened with a 70 to be well positioned to survive the midway cut
Dustin Johnson during the first round of the Palmetto Championship in South Carolina. Photograph: Stephen B. Morton/AP
In the lead at seven-under after the first round of the Palmetto Championship at Congaree in South Carolina is American Wes Roach.
He set up his day with a bogey-free six-under front nine which included an eagle three on the fourth when his third shot found the hole from 105 yards.
Roach led by a stroke from a quartet including World No 1 Dustin Johnson - playing for the first time since missing the cut in the US PGA Championship last month - and fellow American Doc Redman.
Ireland’s Séamus Power, finally getting to use the exemption he earned from a top-10 finish in the Byron Nelson, opened with a 70 - five birdies and four bogeys - to be well positioned to survive the midway cut. Padraig Harrington is two over par after four bogeys on his back nine - three in a row on the 10th, 11th and 12th holes.
The Palmetto is a once-off stand-in tournament replacing the Canadian Open which was unable to take place due to logistical and organisational problems due to the pandemic and Johnson was very comfortable in his home state in getting back to form.
“I feel like I’ve been playing well, just haven’t been scoring very good,” said Johnson, aiming to get back to winning ways ahead of next week’s US Open at Torrey Pines. “The putting’s been off or it’s just like small little mistakes that you shouldn’t make, so, yeah, sometimes it’s taken a little bit of time away and kind of clearing my head and definitely it helps and putting in a lot of good work last week. I feel like I’m swinging good, so if I can keep the putter rolling it’s going to be a fun week.”
Tommy Fleetwood and Ian Poulter shot three-under 68s to be four shots off the pace. Starting on the back nine, Fleetwood carded three birdies in his first half — including a 26-foot putt on his opening hole — alongside a bogey on the 14th.
He dropped a shot after hitting rough at the second, before recovering with birdies at five and nine to finish among 12 players sharing 19th place.
With him was Poulter, who had three bogies and three birdies in an undulating front nine, before some superb approach play set up a grandstand finish of three birdies in his last four holes. Venezuela’s Jhonattan Vegas was sixth at five-under.
Collated first round scores (USA unless stated, Par 71)
64 Wes Roach
65 Chesson Hadley, Dustin Johnson, Doc Redman, Erik van Rooyen (Rsa)
66 Jhonattan Vegas (Ven)
67 Byeong-Hun An (Kor), Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha), Harris English, Richard S. Johnson (Swe), Danny Lee (Nzl), Tain Lee, Chez Reavie, Patrick Rodgers, Sam Ryder, Roger Sloan (Can), Nick Taylor (Can), Vaughn Taylor
68 Chris Baker, Jonathan Byrd, Kevin Chappell, Tommy Fleetwood (Eng), Will Gordon, Garrick Higgo (Rsa), Hank Lebioda, Wilco Nienaber (Rsa), Bryson Nimmer, Ian Poulter (Eng), Hudson Swafford, Josh Teater
69 Scott Brown, Broc Everett, Robert Garrigus, J. B. Holmes, Jim Knous, Satoshi Kodaira (Jpn), Anirban Lahiri (Ind), Rob Oppenheim, Chengtsung Pan (Tai), Bo Van Pelt
70 Aaron Baddeley (Aus), Austin Cook, Tyler Duncan, Rhein Gibson (Aus), James Hahn, Scott Harrington, Tom Lewis (Eng), Grayson Murray, Henrik Norlander (Swe), Pat Perez, Seamus Power (Irl), Chase Seiffert, Shawn Stefani
71 Mark Anderson, Ryan Armour, Joseph Bramlett, Sebastian Cappelen (Den), Roberto Castro, Luke Donald (Eng), Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng), Michael Gellerman, Bill Haas, Tyrrell Hatton (Eng), Beau Hossler, Mark Hubbard, Russell Knox (Sco), David Lipsky, Tyler McCumber, Keith Mitchell, Alexander Noren (Swe), Scott Piercy, Andrew Putnam, Zack Sucher, Davis Thompson
72 Arjun Atwal (Ind), Ricky Barnes, Lucas Bjerregaard (Den), Ryan Blaum, Jonas Blixt (Swe), Brian Gay, J J Henry, Kevin Kisner, Brooks Koepka, Luke List, Matthew NeSmith, JT Poston, Robby Shelton, Brandt Snedeker, Scott Stallings, Ben Taylor (Eng), Martin Trainer, Harold Varner III
73 Charlie Beljan, Cody Blick, Rafael Campos (Pur), Jason Dufner, Brice Garnett, Michael Gligic (Can), Padraig Harrington (Irl), David Hearn (Can), Kramer Hickok, Martin Laird (Sco), Ben Martin, William McGirt, Sean O’Hair, D. A. Points, Adam Schenk, Brian Stuard, DJ Trahan, Kevin Tway, Peter Uihlein, Camilo Villegas (Col), Vincent Whaley
74 Bronson Burgoon, Rafael Cabrera (Spa), Greg Chalmers (Aus), Matthew Every, Fabian Gomez (Arg), Patton Kizzire, Rory Sabbatini (Svk), JJ Spaun, Sepp Straka (Aut), Johnson Wagner, Omar Uresti
75 Derek Ernst, Cole Hammer, Bo Hoag, John Huh, Sung Jae Im (Kor), Kevin Stadler, Nick Watney, Richy Werenski, Xinjun Zhang (Chn), Brendon de Jonge (Zim)
76 Harrison Frazar, Lucas Glover, David Lingmerth (Swe), John Rollins, Kristoffer Ventura (Nor)
77 Nelson Ledesma (Arg), Ted Potter Jr, Andres Romero (Arg), Ted Purdy
78 Smylie Kaufman, Hunter Mahan, Kelly Mitchum, Brant Peaper, Carl Pettersson (Swe)
79 Ryan Brehm, Parker McLachlin, John Pak
80 Dominic Bozzelli, Michael Kim, George McNeill