Zach Johnson shoots -3 at Deere - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Zach Johnson shoots -3 at Deere

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SILVIS, Ill. (KWWL) -

Even with the support of a large gallery that included Hawkeye coach Kirk Ferentz on Thursday, Zach Johnson struggled to score big early on.

Despite solid iron play Johnson would find trouble on the greens as even putts he thought he hit well weren't finding the bottom of the cup.  That included a couple of lip outs early in his second nine as Johnson sat even par after his first 13 holes.

"I hit good putts," said Johnson, "I can't be too upset about it.  I lip out each week, we all lip out every week.  It just happens I lipped out (2) times on my back side."

Things would change as he played his 14th hole of the day, the par 4 5th.  Sitting just off the green Johnson holed out his short chip putting him in red numbers for the first time on the day.  That also seemed to swing the momentum.

"I obviously read it right and executed it right," Johnson said, "For it to go in was a little lucky, but I felt like I got a couple bad breaks, a couple lip outs, so maybe that evened it out."

His hot streak continued at the par 3 7th as he'd hit a solid putt to move to 2 under par.  That score would soon be 3 under after he went back to back with another birdy on the 8th.

That's where he'd stay as strong finish would keep him in the red.  He sits 7 strokes off the leader Troy Matteson who finished his first round at -10.

"I'll take it after my front 9."

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