Welcome to Fantasy Island.
That’s how the fortunate folks who inhabit Hilton Head Island, S.C., refer to their surroundings.
Dustin Johnson finally came home to Harbor Town Golf Links, not his hometown, but his home state. Hasn’t been there in what seems like forever.
RBC is one of Johnson’s major sponsors, pays him a good chunk of change, so the least he could do was make the short drive up after The Masters.
Anyway, the folks on Fantasy Island were pumped that the world’s No. 1 was in The Heritage but maybe weren’t as pumped on Thursday after Johnson got around the Harbor Town Golf Links with a pedestrian two-under par 69. That effort was at least good enough to tie him with playing partner and defending champion Wesley Bryan.
Many figured this was to be a huge year for Johnson after he won the Tournament of Champions the first week of January then finished second at Pebble Beach.
Johnson was the favorite at the Masters but finished 10th.
It’s getting quiet for D.J. and Justin Thomas had a chance to replace him at No. 1 a few weeks ago but couldn’t get it done.
D.J.’s still at the top. Thursday he admitted he needed to putt better after his opening round. “I played okay. I feel like I’m rolling it good, I just need to make more putts.”
He’s five behind the guy who did make a lot of putts in the first round, a guy named Rory, no not “the” Rory, the “other” Rory as in Sabbatini.
The name that sticks out near the top is another RBC guy and that’s Matt Kuchar. Perfect layout for Kuch, he responded with a 66 and is right up there behind Sabbatini.
Ian Poulter shot 69 while another perfect would-be contender snoozed his way to a 70 and that would be Zach Johnson, whose game fits Harbor Town to a tee.
Conditions were perfected for scoring Thursday as described by D.J.: “Very little wind, soft greens, good scoring conditions.”