Putnam, Petrovic share Canadian Open lead
Tim Petrovic and Michael Putnam shared the first-round lead in the Canadian Open Thursday, shooting 6-under 64 in sunny, breezy afternoon conditions at rain-softened Royal Montreal.
The 47-year-old Petrovic was the last player to get in the field, grabbing a spot when Benjamin Alvarado withdrew Tuesday.
“I didn’t set my expectations high because I got in late, so this was kind of my practice round,” Petrovic said. “I walked the back nine (Wednesday).
Petrovic eagled the par-5 12th hole and had four birdies in his bogey-free round. He won his lone PGA Tour title in New Orleans in 2005.
“I was just trying to hit fairways and greens, trying to see the golf course and see if I could make a few putts,” Petrovic said. “I drove the ball pretty good overall.”
The 31-year-old Putnam had six birdies in a bogey-free round, hitting 11 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens in regulation.
“It was tough ball-striking, but somehow I was able to keep it in the fairway and take advantage of the soft greens to hit a couple of shots close,” Putnam said.
Winless on the PGA Tour, Putnam won twice on the Web.com Tour last year and topped the regular-season money list.
Canadian amateur Taylor Pendrith and Kyle Stanley were a stroke back, and former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, Nick Watney and Robert Allenby topped the group at 66.
The 23-year-old Pendrith, making his first PGA Tour start, is coming off his senior season at Kent State.
“I never expected that,” said Pendrith, from Richmond Hill, Ontario. “I was playing good golf coming in here, so I just played golf. Five under is pretty nice. Everybody has some nerves. If you didn’t have nerves on the first tee something would be wrong with you. But after I played the first hole, I felt calm and felt I should be here.”
Stanley opened with a 5-under 30 on the back nine and played the front in even par.
“I love this golf course,” said Stanley, the 2012 Phoenix Open winner. “It’s similar to the one I grew up with in Washington, so I felt pretty comfortable. I hit the ball well on my first nine today. I was able to make a few of the long range putts that got the round going for me.”
Watney had six birdies and two bogeys on the tree-lined layout.
“You’re not playing behind the 8-ball to make the cut,” Watney said. “It’s only one round, but I’d much rather play well in the first round than not.”
Langer leads British Senior Open: Bernhard Langer made a statement of intent when he opened with a 6-under-par 65 to take a two-stroke lead over American Bob Tway in the British Senior Open at a sweltering Royal Porthcawl.
Langer, who threw away a two-stroke lead on the final hole at Royal Birkdale last year and then was beaten for the title in a playoff, was out in a best-of-the-day 31.
He birdied the third, fourth, sixth and eighth holes, and went 5 under when he birdied the long 13th. He dropped a shot at the 16th but then hit back immediately with birdies at the two closing holes.
“Six under is very satisfying,” Langer said. “I played smart, some good, some great. I didn’t make many mistakes and that’s what it comes down to at the end.”
Taiwan opens strong in International Crown: Yani Tseng made a 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to give Taiwan a sweep of the top-seeded United States team Thursday in the opening round of the International Crown.
Tseng and Phoebe Yao never trailed in a 1-up win over Stacy Lewis and Lexi Thompson. Earlier, Candie Kung and Teresa Lu beat Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr 4 and 3.
The inaugural International Crown features 32 players from eight countries.
Each team receives two points for a win and one for a tie. The United States was the only team that failed to secure a point on the first day.
Wheatcroft tied for eighth: Washington native Steve Wheatcroft, who won the Boise Open last Sunday after a one-hole playoff, ended Day 1 of the Web.com Tour’s Midwest Classic tied for eighth with a score of 4-under 67.
The Trinity High School graduate trails leader Paul Haley II by three strokes. The tournament at NIcklaus Golf Club in Overland Park, Kan. resumes today and will end Sunday with the winner taking home $108,000.
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