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Zach Johnson drives on the 16th tee during the second round of the Tournament of Champions golf tournament, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, in Kapalua, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Golf: Zach Johnson takes a 3-shot lead in Hawaii
First Published Jan 04 2014 07:34 pm • Last Updated Mar 24 2014 11:31 pm

Kapalua, Hawaii • Zach Johnson wants to avoid three-putts and score better on the par 5s. He did neither Saturday at Kapalua, and still built a three-shot lead.

Johnson relied on great wedge play and a few timely putts for a 7-under 66 to take the lead after two rounds of the Tournament of Champions. Defending champion Dustin Johnson (66), Matt Kuchar (68) and Jordan Spieth (70) were tied for second as the winners-only tournament started to show some separation.

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Tournament of Champions

Zach Johnson -13

Dustin Johnson -10

Matt Kuchar -10

Jordan Spieth -10

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Johnson was at 13-under 133.

He failed to birdie any of the par 5s, and he three-putted one of them at No. 5 after hitting 5-iron into the back of the green. None of that mattered the way Johnson was feeding wedges into the right spots of the green to set up birdie chances. He ran off four birdies in a five-hole stretch on the front nine, and a few good chips kept him from getting seriously close to a bogey.

Dustin Johnson approached the Plantation Course differently. He birdied all the par 5s with his length, and only fell back with a pair of bogeys on the back nine when he missed short putts. Even so, he was in good position heading into the final two rounds of a tournament that ends Monday.

"This golf course sets up well for me," Dustin Johnson said. "I can reach all the par 5s, and there’s a few short holes where you can drive it up close to the green. So if I chip it and putt it well, I’m going to shoot a good score pretty much every time."

Kuchar had his second straight round of 68 with some good birdies and a few bogeys. Spieth had said he shouldn’t make too many bogeys on this course if he kept it in play, though he made one on No. 7 to lose some momentum.




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