JOHN SENDEN is the leading Aussie after the first round of the 2012 Crowne Plaza Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas.
The lanky Queenslander shot a 1-under 69 to be five strokes behind leader Zach Johnson.
Senden had a slow start with bogeys on 5 and 6 but turned more positively to snatch birdies on 10 and 11 and then went into the red with another on the 17th.
Johnson hit a bogey-free 6-under 64 that gave him a one-stroke lead after the tough Colonial course was racked with 20-30 mph winds.
“Today was great. I got off to a good start, just hit some quality shots. I didn’t put myself ever in a position that was too worrisome,” the American said. “I kept the golf course in front me. I attacked when I could attack. I had a couple of nice saves when I needed it. … I’ve got zero complaints.”
Jason Dufner continued his recent great form to be tied for second along with rookie Harris English and fellow Americans Tom Gillis and Kyle Reifers.
Sergio Garcia, the 2001 champion in the same group as Johnson, shot a 66 to match Chris DiMarco, Tommy Gainey and Andres Romero on the third rung of the leaderboard on 4-under.
Geoff Ogilvy, Greg Chalmers were the next best placed Aussies on even while Aaron Baddeley was 1-over and Marc Leishman has work to do at 2-over.