Diaz shoots 62 to lead John Deere Classic

By Sports Desk July 11, 2019

Roberto Diaz earned a two-stroke lead after the first round of the John Deere Classic.

Diaz carded a nine-under-par 62 to set the early pace at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois on Thursday.

The 32-year-old – who has never won on the PGA Tour, and before 2019 he had not earned a top-10 finish since 2016 – enjoyed a bogey-free round.

Mexican Diaz had seven birdies and an eagle to top the leaderboard ahead of American duo Adam Long and Russell Henley.

After the top three on the course, there is a six-way tie at six under, which includes Martin Laird, Ryan Palmer and Vaughn Taylor.

Elsewhere on the course, Bill Haas shot a five-under 66, Matthew Wolff is four under and Luke Donald is a stroke further back.

Zach Johnson – the 2012 winner had a disappointing day as he sits one over following a 72.

Meanwhile, defending champion Michael Kim posted a first-round 73 to be in a tie for 134th.

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    Ryan Fox was unaware he was on the way to making history during his round as he produced the lowest back-nine score recorded at an Open on Thursday.

    The New Zealander made an inauspicious start at Royal Portrush and was three over par through the front nine.

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    Fox had been struggling for form heading into the final major of the year but was delighted to piece together a round that left him looking up the leaderboard to find his name.

    "I'm just trying to get out of my own way at the moment – I've been a little bit down on myself, frustrated and thinking about the technical stuff too much," he added. 

    "I've been trying to just enjoy myself and that finally worked. It's really hard to do – I've missed seven cuts in a row and been trying to do that for seven weeks.

    "To figure it out in a major is certainly nice – there's a long way to go but it's the first round in a while where I had some fun and some control over the golf ball."

    Jon Rahm is also well poised after matching Fox's round as he eyes a first major title.

    The Spaniard, who finished an otherwise promising day with a bogey at the last, said: "I feel like I played two rounds out there today. Still a great score, my best score in an Open Championship.

    "Obviously a really good first 12 holes. The only mistake was 11, it was still a decent shot, it wasn't that bad. It just got tough at the end, honestly.

    "I feel really good off the tee. I think some of the shots coming in, there was just a little bit of commitment issue, maybe just lack of commitment on some of the shots.

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