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Sponsor exemption Roberto Díaz making the most of Valero start

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    Written by Kevin Robbins @kdanielrobbins

    The second round of the Valero Texas Open ended Saturday morning with Patrick Rodgers in the lead by three — and a lot of players chasing him for their first TOUR win.

    And the leader is looking for his. Winless in 235 career starts, Rodgers shot 66-67 to lead at 11 under par. Corey Conners, the 2019 champion, trailed by three.

    Both finished the second round before play was suspended Friday at 7:53 p.m.

    Among those left on the course was Roberto Díaz of Mexico. Diaz (68-69) played eight holes early Saturday and finished in a tie for third at 7-under par.

    Díaz got a sponsor exemption and made the most of it. The 36-year-old from Veracruz, where he lives with his wife Eugenia and son Joaquin, is attempting to become the first player with a sponsor exemption to win since Martin Laird in 2020.

    Díaz, who turned professional in 2009 after playing golf at the University of South Carolina-Aiken, has one win in 159 starts on Korn Ferry Tour at the 2020 Chitimacha Louisiana Open presented by MISTRAS. He joined that tour in 2014.

    Díaz completed his round Saturday morning due to a series of fog delays Thursday that complicated the start of the tournament, his 61st on TOUR and second this year.

    He finished with two hours to go before the third round began.

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