As Zach Johnson's 16-foot par putt rolled wide on the 18th hole Thursday afternoon, it ended a streak of greatness at TPC Deere Run. 

Johnson failed to break par on D.A. Weibring's design for the first time since the third round of the 2008 tournament. 

A span of 41 consecutive rounds at par or better came to halt with a 1-over 72 in the opening round of the John Deere Classic.

"It is time to start a new streak," said Johnson, who is tied for 123rd in the 156-man field. "At some point, it probably was going to happen. Unfortunately, it happened today."

Playing in his first tournament since last month's U.S. Open, Johnson had three birdies and four bogeys in his round. 

The highlight was a 35-foot birdie putt at the challenging par-4 ninth.

"Yeah, if there's one positive, that's the one," he said. 

Johnson hit 12 of 14 fairways, but he was off target with his approach game. He connected on only 8 of 18 greens.

"It was slim pickings," he said. "I didn't get much out of what I had, and I had some mis-clubs. It is hard to be aggressive when you mis-club with wedges.


That sums up the 2018-19 season for Johnson.

Out of the Official World Golf Ranking's Top 100 for the first time in 15 years, he is in danger of missing the FedExCup playoffs. He is 140th in the standings, with the Top 125 after the Wyndham qualifying for the postseason.

"I'm frustrated in the sense I'm not seeing the fruits of my work yet," Johnson said. "I've worked harder than I have in a long time. When I say harder, the time and energy I've put in on and off the course.

"If anything, it makes me hungrier."

When Jordan Spieth won here in 2015, he opened with an even-par round. 

Johnson, though, will need a round in the 60s today to make his 12th consecutive weekend at the JDC.

"My scorecard today is irrelevant tomorrow," Johnson said. "You've got to be resilient and bounce back regardless of the situation. That's the beauty of our sport.

"I've still got an opportunity out there."

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Sports Editor

Prep sports editor, with emphasis on covering the Mississippi Athletic Conference and Iowa area high schools. I've been in sports journalism for 17 years, the last five at the Quad-City Times.