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John Deere Classic: Surprising Roberto Diaz leads by 2 after first round

Sporting News — (Thomas Lott)

There is a surprising name atop the leaderboard after one round at the John Deere Classic.

Roberto Diaz, a 32-year-old golfer out of Heroica Veracruz, Mexico who played his college golf at South Carolina Aiken shot a 9-under 62 to take a two-shot lead after 18 holes.

Diaz has never won on the PGA Tour, and before 2019 he had not earned a top-10 finish since 2016.

But thanks to a bogey-free round and an eagle to start his back nine, Diaz holds that two-shot lead over Adam Long and Russell Henley.

Give Diaz some credit though, after struggling to stick on the PGA Tour for several years, he has been playing well lately.

He finished in eighth at the Travelers Championship this year and 10th at the Puerto Rico Open in February as well, so he has started to be more consistent.

After the top three on the course, there is a sizable tie at 6 under which includes Martin Laird, Ryan Palmer and Vaughn Taylor.

Elsewhere on the course, Bill Haas shot a 5-under 66, Matthew Wolff is at 4 under and Luke Donald is at 3 under.

Zach Johnson had a disappointing day as he sits at 1 over.