Zach Johnson shoots 5-under 66 in first round at British Open

Zach Johnson shot a first-round 66 on Thursday at the British Open. (Getty Images)
Zach Johnson shot a first-round 66 on Thursday at the British Open. (Getty Images)

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Zach Johnson, desperately trying to recover from his loss at the John Deere Classic last weekend (a tournament he's called his "fifth major"), went out Thursday and shot a 5-under 66 at a real major, the British Open, to take the clubhouse lead.

Johnson started hot at the 2012 British Open as well, shooting a 65 to trail Adam Scott by just one shot after round one. He went on to finish tied for ninth, which was his best finish ever at this major.

The 37-year-old former Masters winner didn't arrive at Muirfield until Monday morning after taking an overnight charter from the John Deere Classic.

After his round Thursday Johnson told ESPN's Tom Rinaldi, "I do like playing the week before majors for the most part. I've gotten used to it."

It certainly worked this year as Johnson led at the time his first round ended. I wouldn't be surprised if he was eventually your first-day leader either as the golf course is only going to get faster and tougher with the afternoon groups.

Johnson played a really clean card on Thursday, too, with only one bogey:

On Friday, Johnson will try to do what he couldn't last year: follow a great first round with an equally great second. In 2012 Johnson followed his 65 with a 74 on Friday and never really seriously contended. 

Something around par on Friday could result in a totally different finish.

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CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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