Date: July 26, 2013
Author: Omnisport

Gardiner one shot off the pace

Australian Scott Gardiner has made a strong start at the Canadian Open, shooting a six-under 66 to be a shot behind leader Brendan Steele after the opening round on Thursday. American Steele carded a seven-under 65 at the Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ontario, to lead ahead of a group of three players. Steele, whose only win on the PGA Tour came at the Texas Open in April 2011, birdied five of seven holes on the front nine. He had started on the back nine and holed three birdies before the fine run left him at eight under, only to bogey the par-four ninth. Americans Scott Brown and Matt Kuchar are at six under, alongside Gardiner, after shooting six-under 66s. Brown went through bogey-free, while an eagle at the par-five 18th was the highlight of Kuchar&aposs round. Like Steele, Gardiner went on a run on the front nine as he holed six straight birdies starting at the second. Swede David Lingmerth and American Hunter Mahan are a further shot back, while Bubba Watson is among a group of nine players at four under. Defending champion Scott Piercy made a slow start to sit at one under after opening with a 71. Woody Austin, who claimed his first PGA Tour win in six years at the Sanderson Farms Championship on Sunday, is tied for last after a 10-over 82. Of the rest of the Australian contingent, Aaron Baddeley (68) is in the group with Watson at four under, while Stuart Appleby (69) is tied for 16th. Cameron Piercy (71) was the only other Australian to shoot an under-par score, with Geoff Ogilvy, Robert Allenby and Alistair Presnell (all 72s) tied for 69th. John Senden and Greg Chalmers are a shot behind them, while Rod Pampling (75) and 2009 champion Nathan Green (78) struggled.