Zach ties for Hero lead

Zach Johnson went on a back-nine birdie binge to shoot 6-under-par 66 and was tied for the lead with Jimmy Walker and Paul Casey of England after one round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Club in New Providence, Bahamas.

Johnson, who won the Open Championship in July at St. Andrews, took his only bogey on the fourth hole, before making birdies on the first two holes of the back nine and adding three more in a row through No. 17.

“I feel great,” said Johnson, who hopes to climb back into the top 10 of the World Golf Rankings after slipping to No. 11 last week. “The greens are just great, they are pure, and they’ve gotten even better in the last 24 hours.

“I hit the ball great and had a lot of opportunities. I missed one I probably should have made, but I made a lot of putts.”

Walker also got hot down the stretch with four consecutive birdies through No. 17, while Casey scattered four birdies across his back nine, including an 11-foot putt on the 18th hole.

Top-ranked Jordan Spieth, the defending champion, made a hole in one on the 172-yard second hole en route to bogey-free 67 that left him in a tie for fourth with Adam Scott of Australia, who had an eagle on the third hole; Bubba Watson, who made eagle at No. 9; Brooks Koepka and Bill Haas.

Dustin Johnson was alone in ninth after a bogey-free 68, while Chris Kirk carded an eagle at No. 19 on his way to a 69 that left him in a tie for 10th with Patrick Reed and Anirban Lahiri of India.

Rickie Fowler of Murrieta posted three birdies in a bogey-free back nine to shoot 70 and was tied for 13th with Matt Kuchar.

Justin Rose of England came in with a 71 that included an eagle on the 15th hole and was tied for 15th with Billy Horschel and J.B. Holmes, while Hideki Matsuyama was the only player over par in the 18-man field at 75 thanks to a quadruple-bogey 8 on the final hole.

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