Schniederjans, Howell III co-lead at John Deere Classic

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Schniederjans, Howell III co-lead at John Deere Classic

PGA Tour

Schniederjans, Howell III co-lead at John Deere Classic

Here is a recap of Thursday’s first round of the John Deere Classic, played at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill.:

LEADING: Ollie Schniederjans and Charles Howell III shoot 8-under 63 to hold a share of the lead. Howell, who was bogey-free, actually found himself 7 under through 11 holes (he started the round at No. 10) but had just one more birdie (at the seventh) to post that 8-under round. Schniederjans, on the other hand, had a great finish. He was 3 under through 10 (after also starting on No. 10 tee) but then birdied Nos. 2, 3, 6, 8 and 9 to close out his 63. Schniederjans is a 24-year-old former World Amateur No. 1 looking for his first PGA Tour win. His first full season on the PGA Tour thus far has produced four top-10 finishes, with his best being a T-3 at the RBC Heritage. Howell, 38, has two PGA Tour wins but recently procured his 16th career runner-up finish with a playoff loss at the Quicken Loans National –  his first event back after an 11-week absence, too. So far, a strong leaderboard at the top.

CHASING: Zach Johnson, the 2012 John Deere champion and a top-3 finisher here on five other occasions, proved he’s a course horse again as he starts birdie-birdie-birdie (teeing off on No. 10) on his way to a 6-under 65. He’s tied for third with Patrick Rodgers, Rory Sabbatini and Chad Campbell.

SHOT OF THE DAY: This amazing approach shot at the par-4 eighth, Schniederjans’ 17th hole, stirred him on to a birdie-birdie finish and a share of the lead at 8 under.

QUOTABLE: “I think it’s the best I’ve felt about my game all year. … I just feel fresh.” – Schniederjans

SHORT SHOTS: Bryson DeChambeau is T-7 at 5 under thanks to a bogey-free 66. He’s tied there with Sam Horsfield, who recently turned pro after his sophomore year at Florida. What a finish to his round! Five straight birdies to close and he shoots 66. … Jamie Lovemark, fresh off a near-miss at his first PGA Tour victory at the Greenbrier Classic, posts a solid 3-under 68 and is T-24. … Maverick McNealy, formerly of Stanford, leads the amateur contingent in a tie for 37th at 2 under. He finds himself at that number with Bubba Watson. … Ryan Moore posts a 3-over 74, finding himself T-129 and well in danger heading into Friday of missing the cut in his title defense. … Danny Lee and Carl Pettersson have withdrawn.

UP NEXT: Golf Channel will air second-round coverage from 4-7 p.m. ET. Follow all the action live on Golfweek.com and our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

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