Garrigus once again finds success at Glen AbbeyGarrigus fired a 63 on Thursday to take the lead at the RBC Canadian Open
July 26, 2018
By Adam Stanley , PGATOUR.COM
Robert Garrigus gets clubhouse lead at RBC Canadian
OAKVILLE, Ont. – There’s just something about Canada for Robert Garrigus.
Last year at the RBC Canadian Open during the third round Garrigus fired a 10-under-par 62, to tie the course record. Thursday he kept those good vibes rolling with a 9-under-par 63 to take the first-round lead at Glen Abbey Golf Club.
Play was suspended at 4:30 p.m. EST due to a dangerous weather situation in the area, the 14th event of the PGA TOUR season impacted by weather. Play resumed at 6:44 p.m. and was suspended once again at 8:04 p.m.
Garrigus, who finished his round prior to the weather delay, made five birdies in his first six holes before making the turn. He added four more on the back nine including birdies on each of the three par fives.
He said he could have been on a “59 watch” if he didn’t lip out birdie tries on Nos. 10 and 17. He pointed to a lucky break on No. 13 that kept his round going.
“Hit it right in the middle of the water, and it hit a rock and bounced over the thing and I made birdie,” he said with a smile. “It was a lot of fun today.”
A year ago Garrigus was at the same position on the FedExCup standings as he is this year coming into the Canadian Open – 131st. He said he was hoping for “peace and calm” this week and to try not to worry about his standing or his play up to this point in the season.
“I was in the same exact place and I ended up finishing fifth and getting my card,” Garrigus said. “If I keep going like I am, it should be all right.”
He had a bit of a premonition that a round like this was going to come. His season as been hit-or-miss, he said – he’s made 12 cuts but missed 11 – but had a good round last week at the Barbasol Championship (a 66 on Saturday) and had a good feeling this week.
He said he was telling his wife and his agent and everyone who would listen that a “good one was coming eventually.”
“It was a good day,” Garrigus said.
But it’s not just Glen Abbey where Garrigus is feeling the love. He finished tied for second at the Canadian Open in 2012 at Hamilton Golf and Country Club – the site of next year’s tournament – one of four runner-up finishes that year en route to him finishing 23rd in the FedExCup race.
“I love this place. I've always played well in Canada. There's a lot of good vibes here,” he explained. “The fans are amazing here. They really, really love their Canadian golfers, and they love golf in general. They've always cheered for me, and I kind of feel the vibes. It's pretty cool.”
Garrigus has a one-shot lead over Adam Schenk, and a two-shot lead over Chris Stroud. First round play will continue Friday morning with 55 players still left to complete their rounds.
Robert Garrigus comments after Round 1 of RBC Canadian
David Hearn admitted this year has been “a bit trickier” not having fully exempt PGA TOUR status, but he showed no signs that was impacting his play Thursday. He shot a 4-under-par 68 to lead the 21-player Canadian contingent. Hearn grew up just 40 minutes away from Glen Abbey and played in the final group in 2015. He said he played great on Thursday and gave himself a lot of good chances to make birdie on a day when scoring conditions were ripe.
“I would like to have been a couple more under on today’s round, but overall very happy with the way I hit it today,” he said.
Nick Taylor, who is 127th on the FedExCup, tied Hearn with a 4-under 68.
“I'm at a point I've just got to play well with a few tournaments left,” he said, acknowledging he knew where he was on the FedExCup standings.
Michael Gligic – who was co-medalist at the Monday Qualifier – shot a 3-under-par 67. Mackenzie Hughes was last year’s Low Canadian, and he was 1-under through 12.
Adam Hadwin, the highest-ranked Canadian on the FedExCup, finished at 2-under Thursday morning.
Dustin Johnson was feeling a little off with his putting after nine holes Thursday, so he made a change. Johnson three-putted twice in his first nine holes, including missing a short putt for par on his first hole of the day, the par-4 10th.
“I didn’t get off to the greatest of starts, but I still felt like I was playing well,” said Johnson, who is No. 1 on the FedExCup standings.
Instead of using a more traditional overlap grip for his second nine, he separated his hands slightly.
“I changed my putter grip. It worked,” he said, making 57 feet of putts on the front nine versus only 31 feet of putts on the back nine.
Johnson also was fiddling with a different driver shaft on Wednesday before the tournament began, but went back to old faithful.
“I ended up playing the same one again. I don’t like to try stuff,” he said with a laugh. Johnson finished at 4-under par.
He’s five shots back of the lead going into Friday.
Jhonattan Vegas came to Toronto about a week earlier than he needed to, but not because he wanted to, per se. During Vegas’ wild travel situation a week ago to get to The Open Championship, he had a layover in Toronto, and he actually didn’t mind all that much.
“I always feel the energy here in the city,” he said.
Vegas, who is looking to become the first three-peat winner of the RBC Canadian Open this week, is off to a solid start in his two-time title defense — he was 2-under par through 16 holes before the suspension of play. Only two other golfers have ever won three Canadian Opens, and he came into this week 123rd in the FedExCup standings in need of a good week to lock up his spot in the FedExCup Playoffs.
“Obviously the past two years I've come into this week not having a great season and have been able to turn things around after this week,” he said. “I want to start turning around a little bit and giving myself a better chance to make TOUR Championship.”
Adam Schenk couldn’t have asked for a better start to his first round at Glen Abbey – or his finish. Schenk made five-straight birdies and closed with three-straight on Thursday en route to shooting an 8-under-par 64, his lowest round of the year. He credits his artistic ability for his success in the first round.
“I drew a new mark on my golf ball today, and for putting… it lined up well and seemed to make about everything,” he said.
Schenk said a good start like the one he had Thursday is super important for him as he’s sitting 153rd on the FedExCup standings.
“It's really important. [We’re] running out of weeks,” acknowledged Schenk. “I think this is the first time y'all have interviewed me, so need to start playing a little better, but today is a nice start in that direction.”
SHOT OF THE DAY
Shot of the Day
Dustin Johnson's eagle bunker hole out for Shot of the Day
CALL OF THE DAY
The winner of the 2017 Barracuda Championship shot his lowest round in relationship to par since early 2016: a 7-under-par 65.
Fleetwood was 5-under through 16 holes after recording three eagles (on No’s 2, 13, and 16). He’s the first player this season to notch three eagles in one round, and has one par five left in his round.
Five years after leaving the RBC Canadian Open on Saturday (while he was leading) to be at home for the birth of his first child, Mahan is back in the mix. He shot a 4-under-par 68.
After an 8-under-par 64 on Sunday a year ago, Poulter continued the good vibes Thursday, firing a 6-under-par 66.
The teenager earned PGA TOUR status thanks to a strong run of results this summer, including a T5 at A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier, his best result of the year. He opened with a 5-under-par 67.
Coming into this week off his best finish of the year (a T15 at the Barbasol Championship last week), Blair, who is 168th on the FedExCup standings, shot a 5-under 67.
QUOTABLESI drove it by Dustin by like 15 yards on No. 8 today, but I don't want to mention that.They have their games, I have my game. You know, I've played with both of them before. I know how far they hit it. Obviously I stand back and watch in awe, as well, just like everybody else.I'm just looking for tomorrow. I'm not talking about the back end of the year.I feel like as soon as I started wearing the hats, I felt like a new vibe, and it feels good.I feel very comfortable, but you still get those first tee jitters when you get on the tee and they announce your name and you get a little bit louder cheer than you get anywhere else.
Longest Putt: 65 feet, 9 inches by Stewart Cink on the par-5 13th. Cink shot a 2-under-par 70.
Longest Drive: 368 yards by Robert Garrigus, en route to a 9-under-par 63.
Hardest Hole: The par-3 4th, averaging 3.149 shots.
Easiest Hole: The par-5 16th, averaging 4.375 shots.