Putnam, alternate Petrovic share early RBC lead

Tim Petrovic was the last player added to the field this week at the RBC Canadian Open, but he’s making the most of his opportunity. Here’s how things look after the first round at Royal Montreal, where Petrovic and Michael Putnam share the lead:

Leaderboard: Tim Petrovic (-6), Michael Putnam (-6), Taylor Pendrith (a) (-5), Kyle Stanley (-5), Nick Watney (-4), Charl Schwartzel (-4), Robert Allenby (-4), Charlie Wi (-4), Bo Van Pelt (-4)

What it means: Petrovic began the week as the seventh alternate, and became the final alternate to make the field in Canada after Benjamin Alvarado withdrew earlier in the week. He now finds his name atop the standings after Round 1, tied with Putnam who was the leading money-winner last year on the Web.com Tour.

Round of the day: Petrovic got off to a fast start, with birdies on three of his first four holes, and the 47-year-old made the turn in 4-under 31. The veteran added an eagle on the par-5 12th and failed to drop a shot all day, putting himself firmly in contention as he looks to win on the PGA Tour for the first time since 2005.

Best of the rest: Putnam thrived last year on the Web.com Tour, and while his PGA Tour debut has been solid he still is in search of his first top-10 finish. That drought may end this week, as Putnam opened with a bogey-free 64 that included three three birdies in a four-hole stretch from Nos. 2-5. As a result, he holds a share of the lead on the main circuit for the first time.

Biggest disappointment: Dustin Johnson was one of several big names to make the trek to Canada after last week’s Open Championship, but he appears to have left his game in England. Johnson’s round got derailed by a three-hole stretch of 4 over from Nos. 12-14, and the veteran recorded only two birdies all day. After a 4-over 74, he seems to be halfway toward an early return to the States.

Main storyline heading into Friday: While veterans like Schwartzel and Jim Furyk (67) are still very much in the mix, the player to watch in the second round will be Pendrith, an amateur who earned low Canadian honors with his opening-round 65 that was capped by a birdie on the 18th hole. Having just recently graduated from Kent State, the 23-year-old has gone from unknown to a spot on the leaderboard after one round in Montreal.

Shot of the day: The 11th was the hardest hole at Royal Montreal Thursday, but Graeme McDowell had no issues with it. McDowell holed a hybrid from 213 yards for an unexpected eagle, propelling the Ulsterman to an opening-round score of 2-under 68.

from Caddysview.com News http://ift.tt/1t0xnCK

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