- Associated Press - Thursday, July 11, 2013

SILVIS, ILL. (AP) - It took years for Zach Johnson to feel comfortable at his hometown tournament.

These days, Johnson is more relaxed than anyone in the field _ and that’s a major reason why he’s in early position to repeat as the champion of the John Deere Classic.

Johnson shot a 7-under 64 and is tied with Camilo Villegas for the lead after Thursday’s opening round of the John Deere Classic.

It was the 17th straight round in the 60s at TPC Deere Run for Johnson, who grew up roughly 100 miles away in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Matt Bettencourt made the field as a late alternate and shot a 6-under 65. He’s tied for second with Daniel Summerhays and Brendon de Jonge.

Boo Weekley is among a host of players at 5-under 66, while three-time tournament champion Steve Stricker is at 4-under 67 heading into Friday’s second round.

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LPGA TOUR

WATERLOO, Ontario (AP) _ Angela Stanford and Catriona Matthew shot eight-under 63s to share the first-round lead at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic, two strokes ahead of top-ranked Inbee Park.

Park is trying to become the first golfer to win four straight LPGA Tour events since Lorena Ochoa in 2008.

Park was joined by American Irene Cho, Spain’s Belen Mozo and South Korea’s Hee Young Park and Meena Lee at 65. American Ryann O’Toole and South Koreans Jenny Shin, Amy Yang and Ji Young Oh were three shots off the lead at 66.

Defending champion Brittany Lang opened with a 69.

Stanford closed her late-evening round with three straight birdies to join Matthew atop the leaderboard under mostly sunny skies at Grey Silo Golf Course

Players took advantage of soft conditions early in the day on the 6,330-yard course. Aggressive approach shots were rewarded before the greens started to dry up in the afternoon.

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