After several weather delays, the opening round of the 2018 RBC Canadian Open is in the books, and Robert Garrigus holds a one-shot lead after posting a first-day 9-under 63.
The 40-year old journeyman finished with a clean card comprised of nine pars alongside nine birdies, highlighted by five straight gains on Nos. 2-6. He added four more birdies on the famous closing six holes at Glen Abbey, including scores on each of the three par 5s, en route to a low-round 63.
Garrigus entered Canada on a hit or miss streak, with two top 5s to go along four missed cuts. One thing for sure, though, the Idaho native enjoys Glen Abbey as he’s an incredible 22-under par in his last three rounds (62-69-63) going back to the third round of last year.
“Glen Abbey is a lot of fun. I shoot 62 on Saturday last year and then back it up with a little 63 here today,” said Garrigus, who at No. 131 needs to move up six spots to make the FedExCup playoffs.
“Could have been 59 watch there if a couple putts didn’t lip out. I lipped out on 10, I had a lip-out on 17 there. Got lucky on the par-5, on 13, hit it right in the middle of the water, and it hit a rock and bounced over the thing and I made birdie. I count those as two on the plus side.
“So that was a lot of fun today. Rolled some putts in, chipped in, and you’ve got to do that around here, and you’ve got to keep going.
“I think 20-something-under is going to win, so we’ll forget about it when I get home. This was a good day, get to enjoy it for a minute, but I’ve got to close my mind off.”
Adam Schenk (64) and Chris Stroud (65) were one and two shots back respectively, and rounded out the top three on the board.
One further behind was a logjam of six players at 66, headlined by Tommy Fleetwood, who carded a career-low nine-hole score of 7-under 30 on the inward set at the Jack Nicklaus designed track.
The Englishman was joined at T4 by compatriot Ian Poulter, along with Korean Byeong Hun An, and Americans Ben Crane, Kevin Tway and Hudson Swafford.
Sergio Garcia and young Chilean star Joaquin Niemann lead a group of 13 more players at 67.
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, and 2013 Canadian Open winner Brandt Snedker, were in a group of 23 additional players at 68.
Bubba Watson posted a 70 to stay in the hunt, but Brooks Koepka dug a huge hole for himself with a 5-over 77 which included two doubles.
TOP 5 LEADERS
1. Robert Garrigus -9
2. Adam Schenk -8
3. Chris Stroud -7
4. Tommy Fleetwood -6
4. Ian Poulter -6
4. Byeong Hun An -6
4. Ben Crane -6
4. Kevin Tway -6
4. Hudson Swafford -6
“Well, yeah. I prayed a lot this week, I’ll tell you that much. There was a lot of prayers for my family, just to give me peace and calm, just to come out and not worry about it, not worry about where I am. I was in the same exact place, 131, and I ended up finishing fifth and getting my card. If I keep going like I am, it should be all right.”
– Robert Garrigus