Thursday’s roundup: Emiliano Grillo leads Canadian Open
Oakville, Ontario — Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo shot a bogey-free 8-under 64 on Thursday to take the first-round lead in the Canadian Open.
The 22-year-old Grillo birdied three of the four par 5s at Glen Abbey. He earned a spot in the field Sunday with a top-10 finish in Alabama in the Barbasol Championship, just making it in when he birdied the final hole to tie for 10th.
“I played better on the back nine, which is harder, and the greens were drying out,” Grillo said. “I kept hitting some solid shots until the end of the round, and I made some good putts on the back nine.”
He won the Argentine Open last season for his biggest career victory, and lost in a playoff this year in the Puerto Rico Open.
Vaughan Taylor and Brian Harman were a stroke back. Two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton was at 66 along with Steve Wheatcroft, Tyrone Van Aswegen and Australian amateur Ryan Ruffels.
At the bottom of the scoreboard, Robert Allenby fired caddie Mick Middlemo during his round of 81. Local school principal Tom Fraser carried the Australian’s bag the final nine holes.
In January, Allenby was robbed and beaten in a bizarre saga after missing the cut in the Sony Open. Late last month, a Hawaii man pleaded guilty to using Allenby’s credit cards.
The 49-year-old Taylor is almost a year removed from a boating accident last year on Lake Thurmond between South Carolina and Georgia. He panicked in the water before swimming to safety.
“I kind of remind myself of it to say, ‘Hey, let’s not take this day for granted and make the most of it,’ ” Taylor said.
Taylor also tied for 10th in Alabama. He won the Reno-Tahoe Open in 2004 and 2005 for his lone tour titles.
Jason Day, coming off a tie for fourth Monday in the British Open, opened with a 68.
Bubba Watson also was in the group at 68. His wife, Angie, is from Pickering, Ontario.
“I’ve gained a lot of friends because of my family up here,” Watson said. “At least I’ve got people watching me.”
David Hearn and Adam Svensson were the top Canadians at 69.
“I played a solid round of golf, and that’s what I needed to do,” Hearn said. “If I can hit a few more greens tomorrow, I like my chances.”
Former Georgia Tech player Ollie Schniederjans had a 71 in his pro debut. He tied for 12th in the British Open.
South Africa’s Tim Clark, the winner last year at Royal Montreal, shot a 72.
Albatross at Senior British Open
Two albatross twos were recorded on the same hole on a memorable opening day at the Senior British Open in Sunningdale, England, where defending champion Bernhard Langer finished in an eight-way tie for the lead at 5-under-par 65.
Langer tops the leaderboard alongside Americans Michael Allen, Bart Bryant, Marco Dawson, Jeff Sluman and Lee Janzen, Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez, and China’s Lianwei Zhang, playing in only his third senior tournament after turning 50 in May.
The albatrosses at the opening hole, a first time in senior tour history, were by England’s Barry Lane and American Steve Jones.
Lane holed his 4-iron second shot from 218 yards on the 492-yard par-5 and, a couple of hours later, Jones did the same with a 6-iron from 179 yards.
Langer birdied the first, dropped a shot at the sixth, but birdied eight and nine to be out in 33, before picking up further birdies at 11, 14 and 16 to be back in 32.
Havret atop European Masters
Gregory Havret made a hole-in-one on the 195-yard, par-3 13th as he shot a 7-under 63 to lead the European Masters by a stroke after the first round in Crans Montana, Switzerland.
Lasse Jensen of Denmark, yet to win on the European Tour, was a shot behind after a flawless 64, while Danny Willett of England, who finished tied for sixth in the British Open last week, was the pick of the dozen players tied for third at 5 under.
Patrick Reed, playing in his first European Tour event, was tied in a large group on 3-under 67. Fellow American and defending champion David Lipsky was 4 under.
Lee Westwood opened with a 68, and Sergio Garcia carded 69.
The Reignwood Pine Valley LPGA Classic will not be played this year, leaving China with one tour event this season.