Dustin Johnson has been playing some of the best golf of his career in 2014. That's why his opening-round 80 at the Shell Houston Open on Thursday was so surprising.
After carding his 8-over first round at the Golf Club of Houston, Johnson withdrew from the tournament. In last place after Day 1, Johnson didn't provide an immediate reason for the withdrawal.
Johnson had a pair of double bogeys in his first four holes, then ballooned to 9 over on the round with a quadruple-bogey 8 at the par-4 sixth hole. The reigning WGC-HSBC Champions winner played the next nine holes in 4 under before closing with a bogey and double bogey in the final three holes.
The front-nine 43 Johnson posted was the worst of his PGA Tour career. However, the 80 was not his worst PGA Tour 18-hole round. He shot 84 in the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in 2012.
Johnson is a Masters favorite with this round a likely aberration. He hasn't finished worse than sixth in his stroke-play starts this season on the PGA Tour.