Zach Johnson comfortable, leads Colonial

FORT WORTH, Texas -- There's just something about classic courses with tight, tree-lined fairways and small greens that tend to bring the best out of Zach Johnson.

Colonial Country Club did that again for Johnson on Thursday. Johnson had six birdies and no bogeys in the wind in the first round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, taking the lead at 6-under after a 64 that included four straight birdies on the back side.

Johnson on the first page of the leaderboard isn't unsual these days. He's been the runner-up in two of his last three tournaments, including The Players Championship two weeks ago. And when it comes to Colonial, Johnson knows how to manuver his ball around the par-70 course. He won the tournament in 2010, shooting a pair of 64s on the weekend. Thursday's 64 was Johnson's 13th consecutive under-par round at Colonial, where he finished fourth last year.

"I do enjoy it," Johnson said about Colonial. "I do like it a lot. It suits my eye. But you still have to hit it good and you still have to putt it well."

Johnson did both Thursday. He made a 40-footer on No. 10 for birdie and then made a nice save on No. 12, getting up and down from a greenside bunker.

"I hit a quality putt," Johnson said. "And then it led into the next hole and the next hole. I made some nice birdie putts. The par save at 12 was probably the big putt that got me going."

Johnson said he played late on Wednesday when the wind was up, giving him an idea of what certain shots might do when it was blowing.

"I hope it doesn't calm down," Johnson said. "It's what you anticipate. It's Texas. There is nothing stopping the wind. The Colonial, with receptive greens at this heat, they have to keep them somewhat saturated, you needed a defense and the wind is the defense right now. That's just the way it should be."

In other words, Johnson is comfortable playing Texas golf. And he's right back in his familiar spot -- on top of the leaderboard.