Johnson shares Deere Classic lead when play suspended
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[August 12, 2016]
(Reuters) - Only a rain delay
could slow Zach Johnson as he fired a six-under 65 on Thursday to
share the clubhouse lead before first-round play at the John Deere
Classic was suspended due to darkness.
The two-times major champion was five-under through 12 holes when
storms hit, causing a 3-1/2 hour delay. Johnson returned to finish
off a bogey-free round that left him tied with fellow Americans Ryan
Moore and Patrick Rodgers at six-under.
Andrew Loupe, eight-under through 14 holes, and Tom Gillis,
six-under after 16, will be among those who return to the TPC Deere
Run in Silvis, Illinois, early on Friday to finish their opening
"We're all used to it," Johnson said of the weather delays. "You
have to roll with it. I tend to relax and get in the gym to stay
loose. I expected it to be worse. I had one mud ball (after the
rain). That's not too bad."
Defending champion and world number three Jordan Spieth is skipping
the event this year in light of his decision to sit out the Rio
Olympics golf tournament that also started on Thursday.
Moore enjoyed an eventful opening round that started on the back
nine and featured an eagle at the par-five 17th hole and a 30-foot
par-saving putt at the par-four ninth.
"These are some of the purest greens we putt on," said Moore, who is
seeking his first PGA Tour win of the season. "If you hit your line
you know they're going to go in."
Johnson is right at home at the John Deere tournament which is being
played not far from his hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
[to top of second column]
Zach Johnson lines up his putt on the tenth hole during the first
round at TPC Deere Run. Johnson was an early leader at five under
par. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker
His comfort level has shown as he has not finished outside of the
top three in this tournament in his last five appearances, winning
"Iím comfortable here, that goes without saying," Johnson said. "I
know I can score well here, but if I come here expecting that, Iíve
got no chance."
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue)
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