Rodgers surges to lead at John Deere Classic

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Patrick Rodgers took a small step towards living up to the expectations heaped upon him when he tied a Tiger Woods college record by taking a two-stroke halfway lead at the John Deere Classic in IL on Friday.

Howell birdied seven of his first nine holes while Schniederjans birdied five of his last eight to record the lowest round of his PGA career. "It was tricky this afternoon with some breeze, but I know 13-under is not going to win the golf tournament, so I got to keep that same mindset for the next two rounds".

Beginning on the back nine and two strokes off the pace, Rodgers holed a 17-footer at the 14th and posted successive gains from the 16th to reach the turn in 33.

Rodgers had eight birdies and a bogey to finish at 13-under 129 at TPC Deere Run. Howell followed his opening 63 with a 69.

"We had a little bit of a breeze out there today", Howell said. It was a great day. If we're going to be doing this for 15 more years, I'm not too anxious about the first couple years.

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On Friday, though, he caught fire after a slow start, nailing a 50-foot chip-in for birdie at his 12th and a 50-foot birdie putt four holes later.

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Four other golfers, including Cedar Rapids, Iowa native Zach Johnson, are just two shots back entering round two on Friday.

Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson shot a 70 to make the cut at three under, as did 53-year-old Davis Love (68).

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