The last time Adam Long broke 65 on the PGA Tour, he captured the tournament title.
Long, in his John Deere Classic debut, rolled in eight birdies and had just one miscue for a first-round 64 and the solo lead after the morning wave today at TPC Deere Run.
The 31-year-old, who had played in just one Tour event before this season, won in January at the Desert Classic at 26-under par. Since then, he has missed the cut in 11 of his last 17 tournaments.
“(Confidence) has been there for the most part,” Long said. “I haven’t gotten too down in the dumps. It is nice to shoot a low one like that and hopefully it propels you moving forward.”
Long is one shot clear of Martin Laird and Andrew Landry. There were seven players who fired a 5-under 66, including Daniel Berger and Joaquin Niemann.
Landry, tied for eighth here in 2016, had a clean scorecard with six birdies and no bogeys.
“Everything went really well today,” Landry said. “It’s been a while since that’s happened.”
Last week’s winner, 20-year-old Matthew Wolff, parred his first nine holes before reeling off birdies at Nos. 1, 2 and 3. He added another birdie at the par-4 eighth to finish at 4-under.
It was a par save that gave Wolff some momentum. He made a 30-footer for par at the 18th after driving the ball into the fairway bunker.
“I wasn’t really making anything,” Wolff said. “I was hitting it good, which is always nice and something I rely on, but putts just didn’t really seem to drop. And (on) 18 I kind of snuck it in and gave me some confidence.”
Former John Deere Classic winners Ryan Moore and John Senden each posted 67.