Luke List’s eight birdies included five in a row around the turn on Friday, the American’s eight-under-par 63 giving him a one-shot lead over Sebastian Munoz midway through the PGA Tour John Deere Classic.
List, seeking a first US tour title, heads into the weekend on 13 under 129.
Colombia’s overnight co-leader Munoz had four birdies in his four under 67 for 130, with seven players sharing third place on 131.
“I was kind of feeling like I had some momentum putting from yesterday and I wanted to carry that into today and was able to do that,” List said.
He was disapointed to open with a par at the easy 10th at Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois.
But after birdies at 13 and 14 he got hot, rolling in a 10-footer for birdie at 16 to launch a run of five straight birdies.
“The round got going midway through and [I] was able to keep hitting the fairway, which out here is premium, and I was able to attack from the fairway,” said List, who gave himself birdie putts of two feet at the 17th and 18th.
Birdies at the 1st and 2nd had him join Munoz atop the leaderboard, and he added a seven-foot birdie putt at the 7th for a solo lead that he preserved with a par from the greenside bunker at the 9th.
“I hit a really good drive on 17 that set up a good 7-iron and then hit one in the fairway on two, also,” List said.
“I think there’s a lot of wedge opportunities out there, and if I can keep it in the fairway, again, then I’ll have some scoring options.”
It was a welcome reversal of form after three missed cuts.
“That’s the beauty of this game,” said List, who said a couple of putting sessions last week and a good round with some friends had boosted his confidence.
“Sometimes that’s all it takes is just a little bit of lightning in a bottle,” he said. “Hopefully I can continue that this weekend.”
Munoz, who shared the overnight lead with American Chesson Hadley, was “very pleased” to back up his opening 63 with a bogey-free effort.
“I thought I had a really good start,” said Munoz, who had four birdies in his first nine holes, including a birdie from a greenside bunker at the 17th.
Munoz, who won his lone PGA Tour title in 2019, parred his way the rest of the way, but was happy with his position.
“Putter went a little cold on the back, but happy where I am and really positive the way I hit the ball,” he said.
Hadley carded a 68 to join the group sharing third on 131, along with fellow Americans Adam Schenk, Brandon Hagy, Chase Seiffert, Chez Reavie, Lucas Glover and Ryan Moore.
Moore was six under for the round and 12 under for the tournament through 17 holes but bogeyed his closing hole, the 9th, to fall out of a tie for second.
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