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Whether it's at the NCAA Championships or on the PGA Tour, Broc Everett continues to surprise.

Six weeks after winning the individual stroke play championship, Everett opened his Tour career with a 4-under 67 on Thursday in the 48th annual John Deere Classic, sitting in a tie for 26th.

"It was good. I left a few opportunities out there, but early in the round I also saved a few," he said. "It's like another round of golf. It was back to the same old stuff that I always do." 

Sporting an orange shirt in honor of his high school — West Des Moines Valley — Everett, who has made four starts on Canada's Mackenzie Tour, birdied his first hole of the day on the par-5 10th. 

"One of the caddies came up and said, 'Welcome to the PGA Tour,'" Everett said. "I was like, yeah, it's pretty sweet. Good start."

The day got even sweeter on Everett's back nine as he chipped in from the greenside bunker on No. 2 for an eagle.

"I was happy to be in the sand," he said. "I knew if I just landed on that tier it would roll down to the pin. Fortunately it went in the hole, which was a little bonus. That was nice."

Everett followed that with a birdie on No. 4 and finished his first PGA Tour round bogey-free, one of just 10 players to avoid a bogey in the opening round.

"It was just solid," he said. "Didn't make too many mistakes out there. Left a few opportunities on the course, but you're always going to do that."

Dahmen goes low: Joel Dahmen has gained plenty of attention recently. He played with Tiger Woods in the third round of the Quicken Loans National and then called out playing partner Sung Kang for cheating a day later for an illegal drop.

On Thursday, he let a hot back nine take the spotlight.

He lapped the field, carding an inward 7-under 29 at TPC Deere Run and skyrocketing into a four-way tie for third place at 7-under, just two strokes behind leader Steve Wheatcroft.

That's one way to bounce back from a frustrating even-par 35 on the front nine that included “a birdie on 8 that I probably shouldn't have made — it hit a spike mark and bounced back in the hole,” said Dahmen, who came to the Quad-Cities after finishing tied for fifth at The Military Tribute at The Greenbrier last week.

“I told my caddie 'I am playing way too well and hitting way too many good shots to be even par,'” said Dahmen of a conversation after a bogey on No. 6. “I hit a lot of good shots. They just weren't going close.”

His round changed drastically on the back side, which was kick-started with a dunked third shot from the greenside bunker, 53-foot, 5-inches away. That was followed by birdies on 11 (10-2) and 12 (38-4).

“Hooped the bunker shot on 10 for eagle and made the long one on 12,” Dahmen said. “After that, I played some pretty solid golf.”

And had the putter working as he made 100-feet, 10-inches of putts in the round.

Former Illini Hardy starts strong: Playing in just his fourth PGA Tour event, Nick Hardy made the most of his return to the JDC as a sponsor exemption for the second straight year. The 22-year-old recent University of Illinois graduate and Northbrook, Illinois, native shot a 5-under 66 in Thursday’s opening round to place himself tied for 11th. The 66 matches his best pro round, the second round of last year’s JDC in which he finished tied for 55th. 

Hardy’s former Illini teammate, Dylan Meyer, also returned as a sponsor’s exemption and finished 3-under, tied for 37th.

McCarty starts strong: Former University of Iowa golfer Sean McCarty gets into the JDC roughly once every five years, and it hasn’t always been a pleasant experience. In 2013, he hobbled around on a bad hip, wearing a back brace, and shot a first-round 82.

He had a lot more fun Thursday. McCarty birdied three of the last five holes to finish at 3-under-par 68 and put himself in good position to make the cut in the JDC for the first time since 1997.

The Solon, Iowa, resident said he played "OK."

"I’m not disappointed by any means," he said, adding that he is much healthier than the last time he was in the JDC.

"I’ve been feeling OK. The back’s good," he said. "It’s a long day. I’m not used to walking so that’s a little different than usual. All of our PGA section events are in a golf cart. But I’m feeling good. Elbow’s feeling good right now. I don’t have any excuses right now, unfortunately."

The 45-year-old McCarty, the long-time pro at Brown Deer Golf Club, was at even-par through 13 holes Thursday before registering birdies at Nos. 14, 16 and 17. He ran in a 34-foot putt at 16.

He is playing in the JDC for the sixth time. He made it in 1997, 1998 and 2003 on sponsor exemptions, in 2008 and 2013 through Iowa PGA Section qualifying and this week via the Monday qualifier for the final four spots in the field. He admitted that made this one a little more special.

The other three Monday qualifiers didn’t fare quite as well. Fellow Iowa alum Vince India carded a 70, Manay Shah shot a 73 and ex-Hawkeye Brian Bullington finished with a 74.

Another WD: Defending champion Bryson DeChambeau wasn't the only player to withdraw from the tournament. Veteran Rory Sabbatini also dropped out of the tournament after completing his round at 1-over 72.

He started well, putting together three birdies on the front nine but then took double bogeys at Nos. 12 and 15. 

What's new at the JDC: A new addition at the course this year are rows of tractor seats that have been welded to frames and have been placed randomly around the TPC Deere Run layout.