Jhonattan Vegas fires 62 to claim halfway lead at John Deere Classic
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 13/07/19 7:15am
Jhonattan Vegas stormed into the outright lead at the halfway stage of the John Deere Classic after firing a nine-under 62 on day two at TPC Deere Run.
Vegas made nine birdies and kept a clean card as he moved swiftly to 13 under par and one ahead of Andrew Landry, while Martin Laird kept his Open hopes alive and sits just five off the pace heading into the weekend in Silvis, Illinois.
Powerful Venezuelan Vegas, who is also chasing the one place on offer for the final major of the year at Royal Portrush next week, began his second round with a birdie at the 10th and then carded four in five holes from the 13th, including a 360-yard drive which found the green at 14 and set-up a two-putt for a three.
A run of three straight birdies early on the front nine featured a 30-foot putt for a bonus birdie at the second, and he added one further gain at the eighth as Vegas put himself in pole position for a fourth PGA Tour title.
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"It was a phenomenal round," Vegas told the Golf Channel. "I felt absolutely in control today. Hit my irons really well, something I've been missing all year. It's been a while since I had a good round like this.
"I found something really good on the range last night and carried it out onto the round. I've been struggling with my ball-striking all year, decided to re-set my posture and it was magic."
Landry also started at the 10th and covered the back nine in 32 before three consecutive birdies to begin the outward half took him to 13 under, although he cost himself a share of the lead when he dropped his first shot of the tournament at the sixth.
Former US Open champion Lucas Glover produced the shot of the day, an astonishing 255-yard three-iron at the long 10th which dropped into the cup for a rare albatross, and he also birdied two of the last three holes to cap a 64 which earned him outright third on 11 under.
Laird had opened with a 65 but endured an erratic front-nine on day two as he mixed three birdies with as many bogeys, but the Scot steadied himself after the turn and further birdies at 14 and 17 salvaged a 69.
Ireland's Seamus Power is also in the large group on eight under after a rousing finish to his 65, chipping in for an eagle two at the 14th before he birdied the final three holes to get within five of the leader.
But former world No 1 Luke Donald went the other way over the closing holes, dropping from eight under to six under with bogeys at 15 and 17, where he three-putted from 15 feet, and the Englishman had to settle for back-to-back 68s.