A significant number of players headed directly from the British Open to the RBC Canadian Open -- a 4,758-mile flight from Sandwich, U.K., to Vancouver, B.C. Among those are three players who finished in the top five last week at Royal St. George’s: Anthony Kim, Rickie Fowler and Chad Campbell.
Kim and Fowler are both on the course early in the opening round, while Campbell will tee off this afternoon.
Kim actually had a share of the lead at 2 under through five holes, but he double bogeyed the sixth hole to fall back to even par. He’s through seven holes so far.
Fowler, meanwhile, is coming off his best finish in a major and is 1 over through seven holes after a bogey on No. 6.
As for the top of the leaderboard, there’s a logjam of players that includes Lucas Glover at 2 under in the early going.
By Stan Awtrey, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- Chad Campbell is trying to change his success at Harbour Town this week. The Texan’s best finish at The Heritage was a tie for 18 th in 2003, and he’s missed the cut two of the last three years. But a surge that began on the seventh hole has helped thrust Campbell into contention. His 6-under 65 gave him the early lead.
Campbell made bogey on the first hole after missing the green and failing to get up and down for par. He plodded along until the par-three seventh, where he hit his tee shot to within 16 feet and rolled in the birdie putt.
That putt helped get him started and moving in the right direction. Campbell made the turn at 1-under and added five birdies on the back nine, including three straight at No. 16, 17 and 18. He finished with a 65, matching his career best at Harbour Town posted in 2002.
Campbell made birdie on three of the four par 3s, dropping in five-footers at No. 14 and No 17. He needed only 25 putts to complete his round, with the best perhaps a 22-footer on the 18 th hole for birdie.
Campbell is looking for his first top-10 of the season; he tied for 13 th at the Sony Open in Hawaii and the Shell Houston Open. He is 91 st on the PGA TOUR earnings list and has an Official World Golf Ranking of 189.
His last victory was the 2007 Viking Classic.
Chad Campbell has a nice little history of success at the Bob Hope Classic -- he won there in 2006 and two years ago finished in the top 10.
At 4 under through his first nine holes on the Nicklaus Private Course, he’s in good position once again. Campbell, who missed the cut in last year’s event despite a third-round 64 (he opened with 79), has just one bogey compared to five birdies.
And remember, two years ago he closed with rounds of 65-64 to finish in a tie for ninth.
To follow all the scoring in Wednesday’s opening round live, click here .
Chad Campbell was disqualified before he teed off on Saturday because he forgot to register for the Deutsche Bank Championship. Players must register on-site before they can play in a PGA TOUR event unless there is a mitigating circumstance.
"(I) just can't believe you make a mistake like that," Campbell said. "Obviously disappointed that I'm not getting to play today, but that's the rules. That's the way it goes."
Mark Russell, vice president of rules and competition for the PGA TOUR, said the registration at each tournament site has to do with liability insurance.
"It's one of the things you have to do," Russell said. "You have to register, you have to show up at the tee on time, you've got to sign your scorecard and you've got to make sure you're scoring every box."
Russell said the omission was discovered Friday night when tournament officials were going through the entry forms.
"I told (rules official) Gary Young, I said, 'Go ask Chad,'" Russell said. "I'm thinking the whole time, they've just misplaced it. He's going to say, 'What are you talking about? I registered.' When he thought about it, he said, 'I didn't register,' and we had to adhere to the regulations.”
The Texan, who shot 72 in the first round, came into the second event of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup ranked 83rd. Since he will not earn any FedExCup points this week, he has been eliminated from the Playoffs, which continue next week with the top 70 at the BMW Championship.
"It would have been nice to go out there and play good today and finish up the week pretty good and hopefully get into next week," Campbell said. "But that's the way it goes."
Campbell said he arrived on Tuesday night. Registering, he said, "just kind of slipped my mind." He added that he once flew to Hawaii for a tournament before he realized he had forgotten to even commit.
"(That was) a little bit worse," Campbell said wryly. "It's starting to be a trend,"
Campbell will now have a three week break before he plays in the Viking Classic. He also plans to play in the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and possibly the inaugural McGladrey Classic.
* On the heels of his best finish at the Bridgestone Invitational in 2009 (T11), Chad Campbell’s bogey-free, 4-under-par 66 in Thursday’s opening round is his lowest score at Firestone Country Club. In 20 events on the PGA TOUR in 2010 Campbell has produced two top 10s, a tie for eighth at the Sony Open in Hawaii and a tie for fifth at the Travelers Championship.
* Sean O’Hair equaled his career-low round at Firestone Country Club with a 3-under-par 67 in Thursday’s opening round. He previously fired a 67 in the second round in 2008, where he would go on to post his best finish, a tie for 12th.
* FedExCup points leader and 2010 World Golf Championships-CA Championship winner Ernie Els opened the Bridgestone Invitational with a 1-under-par 69. In 10 previous appearances at the Bridgestone Invitational Els produced top 10s in 1999 (5 th) and 2001 (T8).
* Matt Kuchar, who enters this week tied for the most top-10 finishes on the PGA TOUR in 2010 with seven, posted a 1-under-par 69 in Thursday’s opening round. Kuchar enters this week No. 8 on the FedExCup points list and is making his first start at the Bridgestone Invitational since 2002 (T38). -- Colin Murray
In nearly every pre-tournament interview this week players have been asked about the way international players have been dominating on the PGA TOUR of late.
Starting with Rory McIlroy’s win at the Quail Hollow Championship, international players have won 11 of the last 15 tournaments. Of course, no one mentions that Americans won 13 of the first 18 – with South Africa’s Ernie Els accounting for two of the five international victories early in the year.
Well, the leaderboard at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational has a decidedly American feel right now. Of the top nine players, all but one – Australia’s Adam Scott -- are from the United States. So maybe the furor is a little unfounded.
“I'm not totally sure about the rankings, but I know the No. 1 player in the world is American, and I'm pretty sure the No. 2 one is,” said Chad Campbell, who opened with a 67. “So that speaks pretty highly of American golf.
“I don't know about going down to top 10, top 20, I'm not too sure. But I think we've got a lot of good players. We've got a lot of players, not older, but we've got a lot of good young players, as well. You know, it's a good mix and I don't think there's anything wrong with it. I think it's kind of an unfair criticism that American golfers are getting.” – Helen Ross