D. Johnson (66) in early position for another win

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Dustin Johnson moved into early position Thursday to win in back-to-back weeks and erase any sour taste that may linger from last year’s blown chance at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

With a 5-under-par 66 at Monterey Peninsula, Johnson sits two shots behind the leaders, Brian Gay and Scott Langley.

Johnson said last week’s victory at the Saudi International on the European Tour was important.

“Very important, just to get the confidence up,” he said. “I have a lot of confidence in my game right now. I feel like I’m swinging it well. It’s definitely good to have some positive things happen early in the season, just to kind of kick off the rest of the year.”


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It gives him momentum in his return to Pebble Beach, where he lost a share of the final-round lead to journeyman Ted Potter Jr. last year.

Potter beat Johnson by three shots.

Johnson can probably scratch Potter off his list of players to beat this week. Potter opened his title defense with an 82 at Spyglass Hill.

Johnson shrugged off any suggestion he brought extra motivation to this week because of last year’s loss.

“I like this place, I like these courses,” he said.

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