Zach Johnson asked his short-iron approach on the par-4 18th to "Do something right, baby." It did.
With just a hint of a draw, Johnson's shot landed to the right of the right-side pin and spun to 2 feet to set up a birdie Thursday that left him two strokes behind first-round leader Patrick Reed in the Humana Challenge in La Quinta.
Johnson finished with a 7-under 65, hitting all 14 fairways at La Quinta Country Club -- the most-demanding driving layout in the three-course event. He hit 15 of 18 greens in regulation and had 27 putts in his bogey-free round.
Johnson has 11 PGA Tour victories. Dating to his rookie season in 2004, only Woods, Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh have more.
"It means that I'm doing something right," said Johnson, the top-ranked player in the field at No. 6.
Reed had a 9-under 63 in perfect scoring and weather conditions. He ran off five straight birdies in the middle of his bogey-free round on PGA West's Arnold Palmer Private Course and tied his career low.
With wife Justine pregnant with their first child, her brother, Kessler Karain, is subbing as Reed's caddie. Justine has walked every hole with her husband this year and plans to rejoin him inside the ropes after the baby girl arrives this summer.
Ryan Palmer, Justin Hicks, Daniel Summerhays and Charley Hoffman shot 64.
Palmer birdied his final six holes and nine of his last 12 on the Palmer course, the site of the final round Sunday.
European Tour: Phil Mickelson didn't have much success with his new driver in the first round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, failing to make a single birdie in a 1-over 73 to sit six shots behind the leaders. Mickelson made 17 straight pars in his first round of the year before a bogey on his last hole, joining a number of big names who struggled on the opening day in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
"I can't recall the last time I had a round without a birdie," Mickelson said. "But didn't make a bogey there until the last."
Matthew Baldwin of England was tied for the lead with Romain Wattel of France and Rafa Cabrera-Bello after a 67. Seven players, including European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley, were one shot behind.
Mickelson's playing partner Rory McIlroy carded a 70 while Henrik Stenson had four bogeys in a 74. Mickelson only hit five of 14 fairways on the Peter Harradine-designed course. Sergio Garcia opened with 76.