Zach ties for lead with birdie on 18

Defending champion Zach Johnson posted a 6-under-par 67 and was tied for the lead with Jimmy Walker, Russell Henley and Sang-Moon Bae of South Korea midway through the Hyundai Tournament of Champions on the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort outside Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii.

Johnson, who has not won since posting the 11th victory of his PGA Tour career last January in the TOC, claimed a share of the top spot with a 13-foot putt for his seventh birdie of the day on the final hole.

“I don’t think it was that easy,” said Johnson, who is on the short list of players who have won both tournaments in Hawaii (also the Sony Open), along with Ernie Els, Vijay Singh and Jim Furyk. “(The wind) was benign at the start, but the last 12 or 13 holes there were several shots that were a club to club-and-a half difference because of the wind.

“(Winning at Kapalua and Waialae) means I love Hawaii. Both courses are vastly different, one hilly, the other one flat, but similar because you have to execute in the wind. Sometimes you have to be conservative, at others aggressive, and you have to know when.”

Walker, who won three times last season, held a one-stroke lead until making his only bogey at No. 17 while shooting 68, while Bae had a bogey-free 69 and first-round leader Henley followed his opening 65 with a 70.

Charley Hoffman of Poway and UNLV recorded seven birdies and a double-bogey 6 at No. 17 on the back nine in a 66 that left him one stroke back in a tie for fifth with Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, who also shot 66, Brendon Todd, who came in at 67, and Patrick Reed and Robert Streb, who both posted 69s.

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