John Deere Classic: Robert Diaz two ahead after opening-round 62
By Sky Sports Golf
Last Updated: 12/07/19 7:21am
Roberto Diaz opened up a two-shot lead after the first round of the John Deere Classic, where Scotland's Martin Laird also made a strong start.
Diaz fired a bogey-free 62 as one of the later starters at TPC Deere Run to pull clear of nearest challengers Adam Long and Russell Henley, with Laird in the group tied-fourth after an opening 65.
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"I just feel that everything clicked," Diaz said. "I've been playing pretty solid throughout the year. The driver has been awesome and I've been hitting a lot of fairways."
Diaz opened with back-to-back birdies and followed a 20-foot birdie at the fourth by making another from a similar distance at the next to reach the turn in 31.
The Mexican holed a 100-yard wedge shot from the fairway to eagle the par-five 10th and got up and down from a greenside bunker to birdie the 14th, before moving into the outright lead with back-to-back gains from the 16th.
Henley briefly got to eight under until finding thick rough off the 18th tee on his way to a final-hole bogey, while Long posted four birdies in six holes on the back nine to also get to tied-second.
Last week's 3M Open champion Matthew Wolff sits in a share of 20th after an opening 67 and former world No 1 Luke Donald is in the group on three under, with Ireland's Seamus Power a further stroke back.
The leading player who finishes in the top five and is not already exempt for The Open will qualify for the final major of the year at Royal Portrush next week.
Watch the John Deere Classic throughout the week on Sky Sports Golf. Live coverage continues with Featured Groups on Friday from 1pm via the red button.