Séamus Power is taking things step-by-step in his quest to move into the top-125 on the FedEx Cup standings - which would enable him to achieve the double objective of making the playoffs and also tying down a full PGA Tour card for next season - and a solid opening round of three-under-par 68 in the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Illinois.
While Sebastian Munoz and Chesson Hadley shared the first round lead at eight under after rounds of 63, Waterford man Power – currently 140th in the FedEx Cup with four regular season tournaments left stateside – produced a bogey-free round that included three birdies, at the second, sixth and seventh to get himself into position.
Power has two top-10 finishes in his last four outings on the PGA Tour, including a tied-eighth finish in last week’s tour stop at the Rocket Mortgage Classic where he put together three bogey-free rounds. With another on Thursday at TPC Deere Run it means the Waterford man has made just one bogey in his last five rounds.
At the top of the leaderboard, Munoz and Hadley are a shot ahead of a group of three players including another Colombian in Camilo Villegas, plus American Chez Reavie and Hank Lebioda.
On the LPGA Tour, Leona Maguire also made a solid start - in her case an opening round 69, two under - where Japan’s Nasa Hataoka was in sizzling form in grabbing the first round lead with a 10 birdie haul that enabled her to sign for a 61.
Hataoka, who started on the 10th, strung a sequence of six successive birdies together from the 15th to the second and then added a further hat-trick of birdies from the fifth in a bogey-free round: “I think what was really working is I was able to control my iron shots to make sure that I could get close to the pin to get birdies,” said the 22-year-old Japanese player, aiming to bounce back from a missed cut in the KPMG PGA Championship on her last appearance.
Maguire, currently 61st in the world rankings and in 15th on the LPGA Tour order of merit after a strong season which has included two runner-up finishes, had three birdies and a bogey in her opening round.
First round scores from the John Deere Classic (USA unless sated, Par 71)
63 Chesson Hadley, Sebastian Munoz (Col)
64 Hank Lebioda, Chez Reavie, Camilo Villegas (Col)
65 Ryan Moore
66 Cameron Champ, Michael Gellerman, Doug Ghim, Luke List, Kevin Tway
67 Chris Baker, Bronson Burgoon, Cameron Davis (Aus), Fabian Gomez (Arg), Brandon Hagy, Russell Henley, Sung-Hoon Kang (Kor), Kevin Na, Henrik Norlander (Swe), Patrick Rodgers, Sam Ryder, Adam Schenk, J. J. Spaun, Nick Taylor (Can), Harold Varner III, Jhonattan Vegas (Ven), Alex Smalley
68 Jason Dufner, Dylan Frittelli (Rsa), Lucas Glover, Will Gordon, Scott Harrington, Jim Herman, Mark Hubbard, John Huh, Sung Jae Im (Kor), Zach Johnson, Martin Laird (Sco), Keith Mitchell, Chengtsung Pan (Tai), Pat Perez, Séamus Power (Irl), Wes Roach, Chase Seiffert, Scott Stallings, Kyle Stanley, Michael Thompson, D. J. Trahan, Richy Werenski, Mark Wilson
69 Daniel Berger, Jonas Blixt (Swe), Scott Brown, Greg Chalmers (Aus), K. J. Choi (Kor), Brian Gay, Rhein Gibson (Aus), Patton Kizzire, Luke Kluver, Satoshi Kodaira (Jpn), Danny Lee (Nzl), Tom Lewis (Eng), Ben Martin, Matthew NeSmith, Sean O’Hair, Rob Oppenheim, Doc Redman, Andres Romero (Arg), Robert Streb, Brian Stuard, Hudson Swafford, Vaughn Taylor, Eric Cole
70 Mark Anderson, Ryan Armour, Rafael Cabrera (Spa), Brian Harman, David Hearn (Can), Kramer Hickok, Harry Higgs, Bo Hoag, Andrew Landry, Adam Long, Willie Mack III, Denny McCarthy, Alexander Noren (Swe), Cameron Percy (Aus), Guillermo Mito Pereira (Chi), Scott Piercy, Ted Potter Jr., Andrew Putnam, Rory Sabbatini (Svk), Roger Sloan (Can), Sepp Straka (Aut), Steve Stricker, Ben Taylor (Eng), Martin Trainer, Nick Watney, Luke Gannon, Rodrigo Lee (Bra)
71 Byeong-Hun An (Kor), Sang-Moon Bae (Kor), Ricky Barnes, Ryan Blaum, Brice Garnett, Michael Gligic (Can), Charles Howell III, Anirban Lahiri (Ind), Nelson Ledesma (Arg), Maverick McNealy, George McNeill, D. A. Points, Robby Shelton, Bo Van Pelt, Johnson Wagner, Vincent Whaley, Arjun Atwal (Ind)
72 Aaron Baddeley (Aus), Jonathan Byrd, J. B. Holmes, Richard S. Johnson (Swe), David Lingmerth (Swe), Peter Malnati, Alex Schaake, Kevin Streelman, Aaron Wise, J. J. Henry
73 Dominic Bozzelli, Ryan Brehm, Austin Cook, Bill Haas, Beau Hossler, Michael Kim, Zack Sucher
74 Rafael Campos (Pur), Sebastian Cappelen (Den), Troy Merritt, David Perkins, J. T. Poston
74 Chad Proehl, John Senden (Aus), Shawn Stefani,Josh Teater
75 Joseph Bramlett, Tyler Duncan, Tripp Kinney, Kevin Stadler
76 Harrison Frazar, Kristoffer Ventura (Nor), Parker McLachlin
77 Michael Feagles
79 Jason Bohn, Matthew Every
First round scores from the LPGA Tour Marathon Classic (USA unless stated, Par 71)
61 Nasa Hataoka (Jpn)
65 Lauren Stephenson
66 Ariya Jutanugarn (Tha), Matilda Castren (Fin), Ssu-Chia Cheng (Tai), Mina Harigae, Yealimi Noh
67 Amy Yang (Kor), Brittany Lincicome, Mi-Rim Lee (Kor), Elizabeth Szokol, Jennifer Song, Alison Lee
68 Caroline Masson (Ger), Megan Khang, Thidapa Suwannapura (Tha), Chella Choi (Kor), Stacy Lewis, Cristie Kerr, A-Lim Kim (Kor), Christina Kim, Linnea Stroem (Swe), Brianna Do, Min Lee (Tai), Lauren Coughlin, Katherine Perry
69 Rachel Heck, Brittany Altomare, Azahara Munoz (Spa), Su-Hyun Oh (Aus), Jennifer Kupcho, Kristen Gillman, Gerina Piller, Melissa Reid (Eng), Pornanong Phatlum (Tha), Cheyenne Knight, Pajaree Anannarukarn (Tha), Austin Ernst, Leona Maguire (Irl), Perrine Delacour (Fra), Paula Creamer, Ana Belac (Slo), Elizabeth Nagel,
70 Brooke Henderson (Can), Danielle Kang, Carlota Ciganda (Spa), Jessica Korda, Moriya Jutanugarn (Tha), Mo Martin, Sarah Jane Smith (Aus), Jodi Ewart (Eng), Caroline Inglis, Sophia Popov (Ger), Sarah Kemp (Aus), Lindy Duncan, Esther Henseleit (Ger), Muni He (Chn), Sarah Burnham, Lee Lopez, Alana Uriell, Gemma Dryburgh (Sco), Vicky Hurst, Lauren Kim, Jackie Barenborg Stoelting,
71 Ind-Bee Park (Kor), Celine Boutier (Fra), Angel Yin, Jaye Marie Green, Wei Ling Hsu (Tai), Katherine Kirk (Aus), Cydney Clanton, Sarah Schmelzel, Yuka Saso (Phi), Jennifer Coleman, Albane Valenzuela (Swi), Marissa Steen, Hae-Ji Kang (Kor), Jeong-Eun Lee (Kor), Aditi Ashok (Ind), Maria Fassi (Mex), Andrea Lee, Dottie Ardina (Phi), Bianca Pagdanganan (Phi), Jacqui Concolino, Jaravee Boonchant (Tha),
72 Valentina Haupt (Chi), Som-Yeon Ryu (Kor), Mi-Hyang Lee (Kor), Jing Yan (Chn), In-Kyung Kim (Kor), Alena Sharp (Can), Amy Olson, Jennifer Chang, Mariah Stackhouse, Dana Finkelstein, Kristy McPherson, Haley Moore, Min-Seo Kwak (Kor), Maia Schechter, Celine Palomar-Herbin (Fra), Katelyn Dambaugh, Yu-Jeong Son (Kor), Peiyun Chien (Tai), Kris Tamulis,
73 Yu Liu (Chn), Bronte Law (Eng), Ashleigh Buhai (Rsa), Tiffany Joh, Brittany Lang, Wichanee Meechai (Tha), Pavarisa Yoktuan (Tha), Benyapa Niphatsophon (Tha), Paula Reto (Rsa), Emma Talley, Sydnee Michaels
74 Pernilla Lindberg (Swe), Jillian Hollis, Daniela Darquea (Ecu), Stephanie Meadow (NIrl), Luna Sobron (Spa), Louise Ridderstroem (Swe), Linnea Johansson (Swe), Ashli Bunch
75 Kanphanitnan Muangkhumsakul (Tha), Giulia Molinaro (Ita), Klara Spilkova (Cze), Janie Jackson, Nuria Iturrios (Spa)
76 Maria Torres (Pur), Ayako Uehara (Jpn), Esther Lee, Mariajo Uribe (Col), Daniela Holmqvist (Swe), Kendall Dye, Natalie Gulbis
77 Nam-Yeon Choi (Kor), Kyung Kim, Jaclyn Lee (Can), Suzuka Yamaguchi (Jpn), Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras (Tha)
78 Katherine Hollern
79 Kris Tschetter
80 Kelly Tan (Mal)
81 Kennedy Swann