Dustin Johnson part of six-way tie at Players

Dustin Johnson, Webb Simpson, Alex Noren share early lead in 1st round of The Players

Johnson's position at the top of the rankings, which he has held since February previous year, is under threat from Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Jordan Spieth and Justin Rose this week.

Or to anyone else, anytime soon.

He has never finished better than 12th here due to poor putting but a new method of reading the greens has helped. It was good for a share of the early lead.

"I think DJ plays unbelievable all the time", Bubba Watson said after playing with him.

It was just his fourth round in the 60s in 31 trips around the Stadium Course and his best score by two shots.

But maybe that only gives him a chance to show how much we still don't appreciate his gifts, even as a force who has ruled at No. 1 for 15 months.

Johnson, who has won 17 PGA Tour titles and the 2016 U.S. Open, had a simple reason for his best round on a Pete Dye layout that has, at times, penalized his use of his best weapon, the driver. He hit every green in regulation but one.

"I drove it well and hit some nice shots and rolled in a few putts", Johnson said in a bare-boned analysis. "That adds up to a good score".

If Dustin Johnson keeps putting this well, he may be employing the method for years to come.

McIlroy said he was impressed with how Johnson has maintained the No. 1 ranking.

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It was also criticised for failing to report services from U.S. strategy firm Goddard Gunster when it should have done. How did Leave.EU break the rules? "The EC went big game fishing and found a few "aged" dead sardines on the beach".

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The disadvantage did little to help to already struggling Gunners, despite Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang briefly drawing them level. Leicester City manager Claude Puel has refused to rule out Riyad Mahrez's exit from the club this summer.

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That said, she still doesn't seem to want to embrace the full implications of what she's singing about, either. Girls has received a warm reception from fans on Twitter who have dubbed the the song an "LGBT summer smash".

"Every week Justin's pretty close", he said of Thomas.

So you wonder if it irks Johnson, hearing speculation that there is an "inevitability" to Thomas overtaking him, based on divisors and world-ranking math. Thomas can move to No. 1 even if he misses the cut this week.

Unlike Spieth, who started bogey-bogey-eagle-double bogey and found water three times in his first seven holes en route to a disquieting 75, McIlroy got off to a good start.

Asked for a response to that assertion, Johnson said: "I work as hard as I want to and I feel like I work pretty hard, so".

Make no mistake, though. World No. 2 Thomas, No. 3 Rahm and No. 5 Rose all have a chance to rise to No. 1 for the first time in their careers. "If someone plays well and passes me, obviously they deserve it".

"I definitely want to stay there, but if someone passes me it's not going to change anything, I'm still going to go back the next week and try to get it back". "I've certainly figured out which holes that I don't play well. As it happened I hit my wedge straight at it and it took one bounce, checked and went in". That was enough to remind him he can still challenge the best.

But Harmon wondered aloud on Golf Channel's Morning Drive earlier this week if Johnson has been working as hard this year as he was when he ascended to No. 1. Lahiri, who exited a year ago with a disastrous 10 on the final Par-4 18th in the second round, got some revenge with a birdie on it. How do we get him back?

Johnson has been frustrated by his putting all year, and he made a decision to try "AimPoint", a method some players use to help them read the greens. They're going to tighten the screws and the greens are going to get firmer and faster.

"I stuck my nose in to see how they were doing it", Scott said with a mischievous grin.

"I don't want to say it was a surprise, because I've been playing well lately, " Mitchell said. If I don't feel like I can win I won't tee it up.

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