OAKVILLE – ONTARIO, CANADA – (Wire Service Report) -A year after tying for fifth place at the RBC Canadian Open and matching the course’s single-round record, Robert Garrigus holds the lead after Thursday’s action in Oakville, Ontario.
Garrigus fired a bogey-free, 9-under-par 63 at Glen Abbey Golf Club, one shot clear of Adam Schenk. A number of players in the field did not conclude the first round before play was suspended due to inclement weather.
After opening with a par, Garrigus birdied each of the next five holes to charge in front.
“It’s great. I love this place,” Garrigus said of Glen Abbey. “I’ve always played well in Canada. There’s a lot of good vibes here. And the golf course is absolutely pure. I mean, I was walking on the fairway on eight, and it just felt like you were walking on carpet. The conditions are absolutely perfect.
“The fans are amazing here. They really, really love their Canadian golfers, and they love golf in general. They’ve always cheered for me, and I kind of feel the vibes. It’s pretty cool.”
Garrigus, 40, owns one career PGA Tour win, the 2010 Children’s Miracle Network Classic.
After Garrigus and Schenk, Chris Stroud holds third place at 7 under. Ben Crane, Hudson Swafford, Kevin Tway, England’s Ian Poulter and South Korea’s Byeong Hun An are tied for fourth at 6 under.
Dustin Johnson, who sits atop the world golf rankings, is at 4-under 68, tied for 22nd with a pack that includes Spain’s Sergio Garcia.
Johnson has played 13 rounds in the event after Thursday. Seven have been 68 or lower, with a 68.5 overall scoring average. He is averaging 5.6 birdies/eagles per round at Glen Abbey.
“It definitely could have been a lot better than it was,” Johnson told the Golf Channel of his round. “Had a few too many mistakes … couple of three-putts, missed a couple short ones. But other than that, it was pretty solid.
“All in all it was pretty solid.”
Johnson, a self-described golf nut, has been trying out different drivers and setups of late, but ultimately decided to stick with what he has been playing with.
“I’m driving it well … I like my driver, but you always try to get better,” he said. “When I feel like something can get better, then I try to fix it. Ultimately, I go back to what I’ve been playing and have a lot of confidence in.”
Two-time defending champion Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela is at 2 under par through 16 holes. Vegas is trying to become the first three-peat champion at a PGA Tour event since Steve Stricker at the John Deere Classic from 2009-11.
David Hearn and Nick Taylor are the top Canadians in the field after each shot 4 under. Pat Fletcher (1954) was the last Canadian to win the country’s national championship. Adam Hadwin, the top-ranked Canadian in the field (No. 55), is tied for 63rd at 2 under.
There are four weeks until the FedExCup playoffs, which begin with the top 125 players in the standings. Garcia, who is at No. 132, is competing in the Canadian Open for the first time since 2001 after missing the cut at The Open Championship last week.
–Field Level Media