Steele's 65 Sets Pace in Canadian Open


Brendan Steele took advantage of his starting time in the opening round of the Canadian Open. The 30-year-old fired a 7-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead through 18 holes of the $5.6 million event, which began Thursday at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ontario.

Beginning play in the morning, when the day was calm and the poa annua greens were soft, Steele reeled off eight birdies and a bogey to go up by one over fellow Americans Scott Brown and Matt Kuchar and Australia's Scott Gardiner.

Steele, whose only Tour win in the 2011 Valero Texas Open, hit 15 of 18 greens and took 28 putts en route to his fine opening effort. "Overall, it was a good day," Steele told PGATour.com. "I hit a lot of good shots and was able to hole a lot of putts. I also didn't miss many greens or hit many shots offline and I was able to roll a few putts in."

Two back are Sweden's David Lingmerth and Hunter Mahan, while three behind are Americans Chez Reavie, Patrick Reed, Chris Kirk, Bubba Watson, Kyle Stanley, Kevin Chappell and Joe Affrunti, South African Trevor Immelman and Aussie Aaron Baddeley. Reavie won the tournament in 2008.

Another 13 players posted 69s. The group includes 2004 Canadian Open champion Vijay Singh. The 50-year-old Fijian carded five birdies and two bogeys. Also at that number was the low Canadian, Brad Fritsch.

Other scores included a 71 by defending champion Scott Piercy and 72s by two-time winner Jim Furyk and 2001 champion Scott Verplank. Canadian favorite, Graham DeLaet, also opened with a 72.

Canadian amateur Corey Connors had a 71, and native Ontarian Mike Weir - an eight-time PGA Tour winner (including the 2003 Masters) who's never won his nation's golf championship - shot a 73. Calgary's Stephen Ames opened with a 74.

For all the scores, visit http://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html.


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