(Reuters) – Jon Rahm says he is hoping to “steal” another title from Dustin Johnson after they finished tied at the top of the leaderboard on 13-under-par in the first round of the season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta on Friday.
Rahm, ranked number two in the world behind Johnson, beat the American in a playoff at last week’s BMW Championship after sinking a massive 66-foot putt.
Johnson started on 10-under with a two-shot lead at East Lake under the FedExCup staggered scoring system on Friday and shot a round of 67, while Rahm carded a 65 to join him at the top.
Both players typically rely on their driver but struggled with accuracy on Friday as they bid to be crowned FedExCup champion and take home $15 million.
“So many times we usually play good when we play together… it’s weird to see us both struggle off the tee,” Rahm told reporters. “That’s usually our forte, our strong suit, and usually we’re both bombing down the fairway and hitting good shots.
“I kind of stole that tournament last week from him and he started with a two-shot lead, so hopefully I can steal this one as well.”
Johnson said he will have to be in top form to stay ahead of the Spaniard.
“Jon’s a good player, so if I want to win this week I’m going to have to bring my best,” Johnson said.
“… It’s all me, that’s for sure… this golf course, the fairways are narrow. If you miss it a bit, it’s not going to go in the fairway.”
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)