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Lee Janzen ties for lead at John Deere Classic

He is tied with Darron Stiles as he looks for his first PGA Tour win since 1998.

July 10, 2009|Associated Press

SILVIS, ILL. — Lee Janzen stirred some memories and was tied with Darron Stiles for the lead after firing a seven-under-par 64 in the first round of the John Deere Classic on Thursday.

Janzen has not won on the PGA Tour since his second U.S. Open in 1998, yet he's in position after an impressive start at TPC Deere Run.

The 44-year-old was at eight under after birdies on the 16th and 17th holes and played bogey-free golf until the 18th, when he hit a bunker and missed an eight-foot par putt. He was off the course by the time Stiles made a seven-foot putt for birdie on the same hole to forge the tie.

J.J. Henry, Matt Bettencourt and Dean Wilson were all one stroke off the lead at 65.

Last year's winner Kenny Perry, who's second on the money list, opened with a 68, while U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover and Zach Johnson shot 69. It was not a good day for David Duval, who finished with a 75 and was in danger of missing the cut after a surprising tie for second at the Open last month.

This time, Janzen was the veteran turning heads.

"It'd be exciting; I would love to win," Janzen said. "If it doesn't happen this week, I still think that I'm capable of winning, and it won't stop me from continuing to work on my game to get better."

An eight-time winner on the PGA Tour, Janzen has two top-10 finishes the last three years. He has spent much of that time trying to repair his swing with Mike Bender after leaving Butch Harmon, but the results have been slow coming.

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