Northwestern Mutual World Challenge. Zach Is In The Zone. December 05 2013

Zach Johnson was in the zone at the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge for the opening round at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks in California. Zach Johnson / getty  Zach leads the tournament shooting a -5 under par 67 for his first round, giving him a one shot advantage over the field.  Just recently Zach had his annual "summit" with his team of coaches, where they discuss the in and outs of the last year. Analyzing and crunching the statistics, and then lay out goals for where to improve in 2014, one of the areas to  improve upon was par-5 scoring; "A highlight that we're looking into next year is trying to play those holes a little bit better. Today I hit it close. I had good shots in there with the proper spin, nothing more than that. But you've got to take advantage of them. You've got five of them. The thing is, one errant shot, you're staring a six right in the face, if not more. There's a lot of penal areas. I did everything decent, just a real solid day all around. I was aggressive when I needed to be aggressive, and I was conservative when I needed to be conservative. It's nothing more than a decent start." In second place at -4 under par is Matt Kuchar, with Hunter Mahan and Bubba Watson tied in third spot at -2 under par for the tournament. On his own in fifth position at -1 under par is Tiger Woods, who said he could not get any putts to drop, he felt he was a couple of shots short of where he should have been; "I made a few mistakes today, I also hit a couple of good shots that ended up in some interesting spots. That can happen out there. I shot about the score, maybe could have gotten one or two more out of it." Graeme McDowell finished at even par 72 for the day, tied in sixth place, he has always scored in the sixties in every round he has played at Sherwood Country Club, until today; "The course hasn't been this tough in a couple years, the scoring reflects that. The greens are much firmer, the speed of them caught me by surprise a little bit today. My speed was a little clumsy, and it showed today on the greens." This is the final year the tournament is being played at Sherwood Country Club. It moves to Isleworth just outside Orlando, Florida., next year, so everyone really wants to get their name on the trophy. That includes last weeks winner in Australia, Rory McIlroy, who would love to get back to back wins for the year. Rory had his girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki following him around, and was hopeful of building momentum from his first win of the year last week in the Australian Open.