GULLANE, Scotland -- Zach Johnson has surged into the lead at The Open Championship with an eagle-birdie-birdie spurt that began at the fifth hole.
He's two strokes ahead of his nearest challengers -- Dustin Johnson, Steve Tiley, Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Miguel Angel Jimenez, who just bogeyed the 14th hole. Johnson came close to successfully defending his title at the John Deere Classic on Sunday, losing in a five-hole playoff to Jordan Spieth.
Todd Hamilton, the 2004 Open champion, is in the clubhouse with a 69 while Nick Watney, Ian Poulter and 19-year-old amateur Jimmy Mullen are on course at 2 under.
Phil Mickelson, who won last week's Aberdeen Assets Scottish Open, has just made the turn at 1 under. Among others at that number are Jason Day, who has completed 14 holes, and Bubba Watson, who is through 13.
Defending champion Ernie Els is even par through 11 holes, as is Brandt Snedeker while the third member of their group, recent U.S. Open winner Justin Rose is 2 over. Rory McIlroy has just mdae the turn 1 over.