Johnson recovered from a horror start in today’s second round during which he dropped four shots in his first four holes with six birdies in his next eleven holes to regain the lead which he shares with Luke List.
Johnson finished runner-up to Brandt Snedeker at Glen Abbey three years ago so he brings not only form to the event but form at the golf course and despite his shaky start today he is perhaps the man to beat.
“I really don't know what happened the first four holes,” said Johnson. “Just got off to a bad start. Hit it in a couple awkward spots. Made some bad bogeys. But fought back and turned it around and felt like I played really nicely from 14 on in.
“It's good. I'm happy with where I'm at. I think I'm in a good spot. I just need to come out and get off to a little better start tomorrow."
List has yet to win on the PGA Tour and is back playing on the big stage after a couple of years on the Web.Com Tour where he has won.
The pair lead by one over former top class amateur, Kelly Kraft, who is another chasing his first PGA Tour title, recently turned professional, Jon Rahm of Spain, who is playing in just his fourth event as a professional and 21 year old Canadian amateur, Jared Du Toit.
Greg Chalmers and Rod Pampling head the Australians in a share of 21st position, Rhein Gibson and Geoff Ogilvy are 36th, Jason Day and John Senden 47th and Robert Allenby, Cameron Percy and Stuart Appleby 62nd.
Jason Day was a big disappointment over the opening two rounds but a fabulous birdie at the last after driving it in the water has kept his hopes at least alive although they may be coughing up blood.
Day is currently eight shots behind the leaders which is not insurmountable but clearly he needs sharp improvement.
“The day was pretty tough in itself and then I really didn't have anything going well,” said the defending champion. “Off the tee was terrible. Hitting the greens were terrible. Chipping was terrible and putting was terrible. So put all that together, you shoot 4-over.”
“Obviously I'm 1-over, and 7-under is the lead, so eight shots back. If we're going to have wind conditions like this and the course is tough, they are not going to move too far. I've just got to play really, really good golf over the weekend to even have a sniff at catching them. I've just got to try and enjoy myself first more so than what I have the last two days.”
Want video tips delivered straight to your inbox? Subscribe to iseekgolf.com newsletters.