After BMW drama, Jon Rahm (65) closes gap on Dustin Johnson at East Lake

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ATLANTA – Dustin Johnson is probably tired of watching Jon Rahm sink birdie putts.

Last week’s duel at the BMW Championship picked up again on Day 1 at the Tour Championship, where Rahm tied Johnson atop the leaderboard with an opening 65.

“I mean, technically it is a continuation, right?” said Rahm, who downed Johnson with an improbable 66-foot putt on the first playoff hole at Olympia Fields. “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.”

Last week, Rahm rallied from three strokes back and force extra holes.


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At the Tour Championship, which uses a strokes-based scoring format, Rahm began the day two behind, and he closed the gap with four birdies in five holes beginning at No. 12. During that stretch, he rolled in 81 feet of putts.

“The only birdie we didn’t share [at the same hole] was mine on 16. Besides that we birdied every single hole together, which is kind of unique, right?” said Rahm, who tied Johnson for the lead at 13 under. “So many times we usually play good when we play together.”

Friday’s opening round was the 15th time Rahm and Johnson have been paired together in a Tour event. The duo will be aired again on Saturday in the day’s final group.