While the Toronto Argonauts have the Canadian Football League’s first week off, there was still a big professional sports return in Toronto on Thursday. On a mostly overcast morning at the St. George’s Golf Course and Country Club in Etobicoke, the RBC Canadian Open completed its first round, with Wyndham Clark atop the leader board after a sizzling 63, -7.
Overnight rains into Thursday morning left the course receptive, and Clark was not the only player to take advantage. Playing in a group with fellow Canadians Mike Weir and Adam Hadwin, Hamilton native Mackenzie Hughes opened with a 66 at the par-70 course. Hughes posted the low score among Canadians on day one.
Corey Connors came into the event as the top-ranked Canadian and was paired with defending champion Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas, the winner of golf’s most recent major championship, the PGA at Southern Pines.
By the time he tapped in his final stroke of the day at the 205-yard, par-three, eighth hole, shortly after noon local time, Connors had posted a +1, 71. It was not what he’d hoped, but he’s by no means out of contention.
Of the three, it was McIlroy who played the best golf, managing six birdies on the way to an opening round of 66, despite not converting on all his opportunities.
The afternoon flight saw a bit of brief rain inter-mixed with sun. Harold Varner III made the best of the later flight. After turning to the back nine, Varner made an eagle and took it to -6. Eventually, Varner fell back to -5, tied for third with Doug Ghim, one stroke behind second-place Matthew Fitzpatrick (-6).
Elsewhere in golf, Canadians continued to dominate the top of the leaderboard at the women’s international amateur event, the ninth annual Women’s Porter Cup at the Niagara Falls (New York) Country Club, holding six of the top eight spots.
Brooke Rivers finished round two at -5. Rivers, of Brampton, will play golf at Wake Forest University
One shot back is Oakville’s Katie Cranston, who fired a tournament-low round of 67. Cranston will play collegiate golf at Auburn.
Taylor Kehoe, another Ontarian, who was the co-leader along with Rivers after day one, slipped back to -1. Her two-day total of 143 is good enough to keep Kehoe, who will attend the University of Alabama, tied for 6th place.
Play is set to continue for both events on Friday.
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