5 Things: Petrovic, Putnam share Canadian lead
Thursday, July 24, 2014
PGA Tour veteran Tim Petrovic and 2013 Web.com Tour money leader Michael Putnam fired 6-under 64s on Thursday at the RBC Canadian Open, sharing a one-shot lead over Kyle Stanley and Taylor Pendrith.
Here are 5 Things to know from the first round in Canada:
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1. LAST ONE IN . . . Tim Petrovic didn't even get a chance to play a practice round at Royal Montreal GC, finding his way into the field after Benjamin Alvarado withdrew on Tuesday.
Maybe he should try that more often after the 47-year-old had four birdies and an eagle to sit in a tie for the lead. Petrovic, currently ranked No. 613 in the Official World Golf Ranking, won one PGA Tour title in 2005.
In eight starts on the PGA Tour this season, he's made only three cuts and earned just over $85,000. In 12 seasons playing on Tour, he has 25 top-10 finishes.
"I was just trying to hit fairways and greens, trying to see the golf course and see if I could make a few putts," said Petrovic. "I drove the ball pretty good overall."
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2. STEADY PLAY: Michael Putnam was a model of consistency on Thursday, finding 11 fairways and 14 greens that allowed him to card the bogey-free 64. Putnam is in familiar territory, but all three professional wins have been on the Web.com Tour, including two in 2013.
"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.
Putnam has made 19 of 22 cuts on Tour this season, but has only three top-25 finishes and has earned just under $545,000.
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3. MASTERFUL APPROACH: It's amazing what one shot can do to a round. Graeme McDowell was struggling as he headed toward the turn on Thursday, picking up three bogeys over four holes to post a 1-over 35 heading to the back nine. A birdie at No. 10 got him back to even, but it was a hole out from 213 yards for eagle on the par-4 11th that eventually led to a 2-under 68, putting him in a tie for 32nd.
McDowell is making only his second start at the RBC Canadian Open, making the cut in 2013, although he failed to make a secondary cut and did not play the final round.
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4. AMATEUR HOUR: Canadian amateur Taylor Pendrith is just a stroke off the lead after a 5-under 67, using seven birdies to make an impression in his first PGA Tour start. Pendrith, who just completed his senior season at Kent State, is ranked No. 17 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
"I never expected that," said Pendrith. "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."
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5. SHORT SHOTS: Hunter Mahan, who withdrew from last year's RBC Canadian when his wife went into birth, opened with a 2-under 68 . . . An impressive list of stars sit at 1 under (T-44): Brandt Snedeker, Matt Kuchar, Vijay Singh and Retief Goosen . . . Patrick Rodgers, Luke Donald and Ben Crane are all at 1 over, currently T-87 and will need to do some work on Friday to make the cut . . . After challenging for the Open Championship title, Dustin Johnson opened with a 4-over 74 and is T-138 . . . Erik Compton posted a 9-over 79 and is last in the field, while John Daly was only three shots better.