Heinen seeks to profit as Open costs field Deere

 

Mike Heinen fired an eight-under-par 63 at the TPC at Deere Run for a two-stroke lead after the opening round of the John Deere Classic in Illinois.

A week after the British Open, most of the Tour's top players are skipping this event and Heinen took advantage, collecting nine birdies and a bogey as he seeks his first win since claiming his lone PGA victory at the 1994 Houston Open.

"I hit the ball real well," the 35-year-old Louisiana native said. "I don't even know how many fairways and greens (I hit), but I hit a lot of them and just gave myself a lot of opportunities."

Defending champion David Gossett, Robert Gamez and Tripp Isenhour are two shots back after opening-round 65s.

Spike McRoy, coming off his first PGA victory at last week's BC Open, is one of 10 players within three shots of the lead. Duffy Waldorf also carded a 66.