Sam Saunders, Arnold Palmer's grandson, sets pace at Genesis Open

Carla Harmon
February 17, 2017

That leaves him at four under par, two shots behind early leader Sam Saunders - the grandson of the late Arnold Palmer.

The reigning U.S. Open champion, who can claim the top ranking with a victory should incumbent Jason Day tie for third or worse here, made six birdies and one bogey to stand two shots behind Sam Saunders on the classic Los Angeles layout.

Johnson had temporarily held a two-shot lead thanks to four birdies in a five-hole stretch around the turn, only for him to lip out from eight feet for bogey at the fourth.

Former world number one Adam Scott played alongside Johnson.

Round one is scheduled to restart at 07:00 local time while the second round will tee off at 07:10.

Johnson's round was enlivened by a bee sting on the green at the first hole, his 10th of the day. The most immediate challenges will come from the four players who are now tied for second at five under (Dustin Johnson, JT Poston, Daniel Summerhays, and Brett Stegmaier) who have all completed Round One as well. He regained a tie for first with DJ and two others among the morning wave with his fifth birdie of the day, at No. 7, but had to settle for a share of second, at 4-under 67, after a disappointing bogey at the last.

"Obviously, it would be great to get there but I'm focused on this week and this golf tournament, each shot that I'm hitting", said Johnson.

The three-time major victor would also be entitled to feel a little disappointed after he failed to birdie two of the three par fives. He was joined by Australia's Marc Leishman, Ireland's Padraig Harrington, South Africa's Branden Grace, South Korea's An Byeong-Hun and Americans Billy Hurley, Pat Perez and Kevin Na.

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