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July 22 2011

3:32 PM

Key this week: Hit those fairways

The PGA TOUR Network’s Bill Rosinski said the most important statistic this week at the RBC Canadian Open will be fairways hit. That’s because the rough at Shaughnessy is so thick that any wayward tee shots will be gobbled up and severely punished.

“If you hit the ball in the rough, you’re going to be penalized,” Rosinski said on Friday’s edition of PGA TOUR Today. “Most of the time, you’ll probably make bogey.”

Kris Blanks, the first-round leader after shooting his 3-under 67 on Thursday, hit 11 of 14 fairways. That was well above the average of 56 percent for the field. Blanks acknowledged after his round that he played “a little passive off the tee,” just to make sure he stayed in the fairway.

Thursday’s first round was the third most difficult round on TOUR this year, with the field average more than three strokes over par.

“That’s the big story,” Rosinski said of fairways hit. “Look at that stat over the next three days here at the Canadian Open.”

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