Thursday’s golf: Kuchar fights dizzy spells at Canadian Open
Oakville, Ontario — Matt Kuchar fought dizzy spells in the first round of the RBC Canadian Open on Thursday, four days after finishing second behind Jordan Spieth in the British Open.
“I had a couple of spells where I got a little bit of dizzy and I feel weak,” Kuchar said. “I don’t know where it came from. I’ve had plenty of time to get over the travel. Hopefully, it’s just something that passes real quick. … I shook it off the couple times it happened.”
The 39-year-old American became dizzy marking a ball and sought medical attention during the morning round at Glen Abbey. After playing the first 11 holes in 4 under, he made a double bogey on the par-4 third and bogeyed the par-4 eighth en route to a 1-under 71.
Kuchar was six strokes behind leaders Kevin Chappell, Matt Every, Hudson Swafford, Brandon Hagy and Ollie Schniederjans in the round that was suspended because of darkness after afternoon play was interrupted for nearly two hours by lightning and rain.
“He had been over to mark a putt after he missed it and got a little light-headed,” said playing partner Bubba Watson, a stroke back after a 66. “He just came up a little slow. I don’t know why. It’s a little warm after the rain. Had a rain jacket on. Probably just a little light-headed. And then the travel. He played over there, a lot of energy used last week. Second place is a lot of energy used over that and then flying back over here with the time change, probably just one of those things. Maybe a little dehydrated.”
Kuchar has an endorsement deal with tournament sponsor RBC.
On Sunday at Royal Birkdale in England, he finished three strokes behind Spieth. Kuchar had a one-stroke lead with five holes to play before Spieth rallied and pulled away with a birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie stretch.
Defending champion Jhonattan Vegas, Vijay Singh, Jim Herman, Peter Malnati and Martin Flores matched Watson at 66. Top-ranked Dustin Johnson had a 67. He eagled the par-5 13th and had six birdies and three bogeys.
“Just had a few putts lip out on the back, and then, just didn’t drive it well the back nine,” Johnson said. “But when I did drive it in the fairway, I had good holes. I’m swinging really well, especially with the irons. … Tomorrow, I just need to go out in the morning and hit a few more fairways.”
Chappell had two eagles, playing alongside fellow leader Every in the afternoon. Chappell made a 12-foot putt from the fringe on the par-5 16th for his first eagle and holed a 15-footer from the fringe on the par-5 second.
“Doesn’t happen too often, but I’m glad it happened today,” Chappell said. “I hit it really well. Got the ball in play on the par 5s, so I was able to attack those.”
Schniederjans also had two eagles. He chipped in on 13 and made a 15-footer on 18.
“I took advantage of the par 5s and just played real consistently well off the tee,” Schneiderjans said. “I was in good positions all day. Just a solid round.”
Mackenzie Hughes topped the 17 Canadians at 67.
“If you hit it in the fairway, you can be aggressive,” Hughes said. “The few fairways I missed, I was just trying to make par and you have to be a little bit defensive. All in all it was a great day. Probably could be a bit better, but I made a couple nice par putts, too. Overall, happy with my start.”
Brian Stuard (Jackson) scot a 69 and Ryan Brehm (Mount Pleasant) shot a 72.
Fourteen players were unable to finish. Kramer Hickok led the group at 5 under with a hole left.
Senior British Open
At Bridgend, Wales, Bernhard Langer shot a 2-under 69 in wind and rain at Royal Porthcawl to take the first-round lead in the Senior British Open.
The 59-year-old German star had five birdies and three bogeys for a one-stroke lead over 64-year-old Carl Mason of England and Mauricio Molina of Argentina.
Langer has nine senior major titles. He won by 13 strokes the last time the tournament was held on the south Wales course, finishing at 18 under in 2014.
“I do like the golf course,” Langer said. “You can be aggressive at times and you’ve got to be cautious at other times. I think my game plan is pretty good. It’s just a matter of executing the shots and the putts.”
Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie was two strokes back at 71 along with Americans Tom Lehman, Billy Mayfair, Tom Pernice Jr. and Billy Andrade, Australians Peter Lonard and Peter Fowler, France’s Jean-Francois Remesy and South Africa’s Chris Williams. Tom Watson and John Daly topped the group at 72.
At Irvine, Scotland, Hall of Famer Karrie Webb shot a 7-under 65 in cold and windy conditions to take a one-stroke lead over Cristie Kerr in the Ladies Scottish Open.
Webb played the final 10 holes in 7 under at Dundonald Links. The 42-year-old Australian star birdied the par-4 ninth, made five straight birdies on Nos. 11-15 and added another birdie on the par-5 18th.
Kerr closed with a birdie on the No. 9 in her bogey-free round in the event sanctioned by the LPGA Tour for the first time. It has been part of the Ladies European Tour since 1986.
Fellow major champions Stacy Lewis and Inbee Park were tied for third at 69 along with Sei Young Kim, Lina Boqvist and Pornanong Phatlum. ANA Inspiration winner So Yeon Ryu had a 71, and Michelle Wie shot 72.
Lydia Ko opened with a 74. She has gone a full year without winning on the LPGA Tour.
The Ricoh Women’s British Open is next week at Kingsbarns.