Charles Howell III is off to a strong start at the John Deere Classic, finishing his round Thursday at eight under par (63).
The current clubhouse leader says a number of factors contributed to his success.
"This is the best I've ever seen the greens," he said. "The speed is back up on the them and, granted without traffic, they were rolling like carpet. Today was absolutely the best scoring we'll see all week."
This is just the second tournament Howell has played since a rib injury kept him off the course for two months.
"It drove me nuts, and not nuts in the way of 'Man I could be doing this,' but just missing playing golf," he said. "I think that probably fed a little bit to some better play at Quicken Loan and even today in the sense that I appreciate being out here maybe more than I had before."
Among the early finishers, Howell is followed by Rory Sabbatini, Zach Johnson, and Patrick Rodgers, at six under par in the first round of today's John Deere Classic.