Blanks takes lead at Canadian Open

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — American Kris Blanks shot a 3-under 67 to take a one-stroke lead after the first-round at the Canadian Open on Thursday.

Matt McQuillan was the best of 17 Canadians with a 2-under 68, putting the 30-year-old PGA Tour rookie in a tie with 11 players, including Ernie Els.

Rickie Fowler, Anthony Kim and Lucas Glover — playing together in softer morning conditions — all shot 69 to finish among another group of nine players on a day when only 21 players were under par on the tight tree-lined, 7,010-yard Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club.

Blanks played in the morning, after overnight rain softened the course, making it easier to attack the small greens. But first players had to find the fairway to avoid thick rough many said was tougher than the U.S. Open.

Senior British Open

At Walton On the Hill, England, Mark Calcavecchia defied the afternoon rain to shoot a bogey-free 68 and take a three-way share of the first-round lead at the Senior British Open.

Bidding to become the fourth player to win both the British Open and the senior version, the 51-year-old American fired two birdies either side of the turn before parring the final five holes.

Earlier, Ireland's Mark McNulty and Australia's Mike Harwood also shot 4 under in still, dry conditions on the parkland course at Walton Heath that hosted the 1981 Ryder Cup.

South Africa's David Frost and Scotland's Albert MacKenzie were a shot behind, with defending champion Bernhard Langer of Germany one of seven players at 2 under.

European Tour

At Stockholm, Swedish amateur Robert Karlsson shot a 5-under 67 to share the first-round lead with countryman Alexander Noren and Jaco Van Zyl of South Africa at the Nordea Masters.

The 22-year-old Karlsson, one of only three amateurs in the tournament, had seven birdies and double bogey on the 7,603-yard Bro Hof Slott course — the longest on the European Tour this year.

Evian Masters

At Evian-Les-Bains, France, former British Open champion Karen Stupples of England shot a 5-under 67 for a share of the first-round lead with Sweden's Maria Hjorth and South Korea's Ahn Shin-ae at the Evian Masters.

Stupples, who won her only major in 2004, recovered well from a double bogey on the ninth hole to make six birdies on the back nine.

Defending champion Jiyai Shin of South Korea made a solid start with a 3-under 69, including three birdies in the first four holes, before bogeys on No. 6 and 8 slowed her down.

The 23-year-old Shin is still looking for her first title of the year. She's one shot behind 2009 champion Ai Miyazato of Japan, who was among six players finishing with a 4-under 68.

Share This Story