Steve Wheatcroft leads John Deere Classic after opening 62

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Steve Wheatcroft leads John Deere Classic after opening 62

PGA Tour

Steve Wheatcroft leads John Deere Classic after opening 62

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

LEADING: Steve Wheatcroft used a hot finish to put himself atop the leaderboard in Illinois.

Six straight birdies to close his round left him with a 9-under 62 and a one-shot lead. Wheatcroft has one previous top-10 finish at this event, finishing T-8 in 2015.

Wheatcroft had missed 11 of 13 cuts before making the weekend at the Travelers Championship and then the Greenbrier. He could only place T-61 and T-65 at those events. His last top-25 showing on the PGA Tour came via a T-15 at last year’s Barbasol Championship.

CHASING: Michael Kim is solo second at 8 under. Johnson Wagner is among a quartet in a tie for third at 7 under. Francesco Molinari leads a group at 6 under in a tie for seventh.

SHOT OF THE DAY: An opening 1-over 72 for Trey Mullinax, but he got this long birdie putt to fall.

SHORT SHOTS: Patrick Rodgers is in a tie for 11th at 5 under. Former Illini star Nick Hardy is also T-11. … Reigning NCAA champion Broc Everett, who recently turned pro, fires a 4-under 67 in his PGA Tour debut round and sits T-26. … Joaquin Niemann, 19, is T-56 at 2 under. … So is Zach Johnson, a past winner here. … Steve Stricker, who once won this event three years in a row, is T-79 at 1 under. … Bryson DeChambeau withdraws late in his first round due to a shoulder injury. Our defending champion’s run in Silvis is already over.

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