Matt Fitzpatrick one off pace in Canadian Open ahead of title defence

Home > Tours > PGA Tour > Matt Fitzpatrick one off pace in Canadian Open ahead of title defence
England’s Aaron Rai shares the first-round lead in final event before US Open.
Posted on
June 9, 2023
by
The Editorial Team in ,
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Canadian Open 2023 R1
Matt Fitzpatrick on the seventh hole during the first round of the Canadian Open (Andrew Lahodynskyj/The Canadian Press/AP)

England’s Aaron Rai claimed a share of the lead after the first round of the Canadian Open as compatriot Matt Fitzpatrick was a shot behind as he warmed up for his US Open title defence.

Rai recovered from a terrible start to shoot a five-under-par 67 to sit alongside Corey Connors – looking to become the first Canadian winner in 69 winners – and American pair Chesson Hadley and Justin Lower.

A week before the US Open in Los Angeles, Fitzpatrick’s bid for a third PGA Tour title with a four-under-par 68 at the Oakdale Golf and Country Club.

Canadian Open Golf
Justin Rose watches his ball after hitting form the rough on the 15th hole (Andrew Lahodynskyj/The Canadian Press/AP)

Having started on the back nine, the 28-year-old fired five birdies and would have been sharing the lead were it not for a bogey on his penultimate hole of the day.

He was one of nine players on 68, ahead of an even larger group on three-under-par which included former US Open champion Justin Rose and fellow English duo Callum Tarren and Harry Hall.

Rai had looked in all sorts of trouble after dropping four shots in three successive holes from the third to slump to three over, but he turned things round in remarkable fashion.

After recording birdies on the seventh and eighth to reach the turn on one over, the 28-year-old from Wolverhampton picked up further shots on the 10th, 12th, 13th, 14th – where he came close to making a hole in one – 16th and 18th to move to five under.

Defending champion Rory McIlroy, whose build-up to the tournament saw him fielding questions about the shock merger between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, was one under after an eventful opening 71 that included five birdies and four bogeys.

“At the end of the day, this is business and my job is playing golf,” said McIlroy. “The more that I can focus on that and focus on the birdies and the bogeys instead of the stuff that’s happened in the boardroom, I’ll be much happier.

The world number three is seeking a hat-trick of victories at the Canadian Open following triumphs in 2019 and 2022, with the tournament having been cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid.

McIlroy was one behind England’s Tommy Fleetwood and Russell Knox, whose fellow Scot Martin Laird was among those on one-under-par. Tyrell Hatton and Ireland’s Shane Lowry both opened with level par 72s.

Pos.PlayerTo ParR1
T1Aaron Rai-567
T1Justin Lower-567
T1Corey Conners-567
T1Chesson Hadley-567
T5Jonathan Byrd-468
T5Brice Garnett-468
T5Matt Fitzpatrick-468
T5Mark Hubbard-468
T5Ryan Gerard-468
T5Brendon Todd-468
T5S.H. Kim-468
T5Will Gordon-468
T5Carl Yuan-468
T14Eric Cole-369
T14Justin Rose-369
T14Ludvig Aberg-369
T14Lucas Glover-369
T14Roger Sloan-369
T14Cody Gribble-369
T14Callum Tarren-369
T14Andrew Novak-369
T14Mackenzie Hughes-369
T14Richy Werenski-369
T14Taylor Pendrith-369
T14James Hahn-369
T14Ryan Moore-369
T14Harry Hall-369
T14Akshay Bhatia-369
T29Ryan Brehm-270
T29Tommy Fleetwood-270
T29C.T. Pan-270
T29Peter Malnati-270
T29Scott Piercy-270
T29Russell Knox-270
T29Nate Lashley-270
T29Sam Bennett-270
T37Patton Kizzire-171
T37Henrik Norlander-171
T37Harry Higgs-171
T37Brandon Wu-171
T37Ryan Armour-171
T37Rory McIlroy-171
T37Garrick Higgo-171
T37Martin Laird-171
T37Bill Haas-171
T37Greyson Sigg-171
T37Martin Trainer-171
T37Chris Stroud-171
T37S.Y. Noh-171
T37Matti Schmid-171
T37Carson Young-171
T37Ben Silverman-171
T37Adrian Meronk-171
T37Sean O'Hair-171
T37Aaron Baddeley-171
T37Kevin Chappell-171
T37Austin Smotherman-171
T37Tyson Alexander-171
T37Kelly Kraft-171
T37Matt Kuchar-171
T37Brian Gay-171
T37Adam Hadwin-171
T37Cameron Young-171
T37Doug Ghim-171
T37Dylan Wu-171
T37Vincent Norrman-171
T37Brent Grant-171
T37Trevor Cone-171
T37Jake Knapp-171
T70Tyrrell HattonPar72
T70Chez ReaviePar72
T70Doc RedmanPar72
T70Lee HodgesPar72
T70David LingmerthPar72
T70Harrison EndycottPar72
T70Peter KuestPar72
T70Tyler DuncanPar72
T70Keith MitchellPar72
T70Shane LowryPar72
T70Mike WeirPar72
T70Michael KimPar72
T70Kevin StadlerPar72
T70Aaron CockerillPar72
T84Aaron Wise+173
T84Andrew Landry+173
T84Jason Dufner+173
T84Vince Whaley+173
T84Ben Crane+173
T84MJ Daffue+173
T84Drew Nesbitt+173
T84Étienne Papineau+173
T84Johnny Travale(a)+173
T84Scott Brown+173
T84Alex Smalley+173
T84Wesley Bryan+173
T84Sam Burns+173
T84Sahith Theegala+173
T84Adam Svensson+173
T84Cameron Champ+173
T84Kevin Tway+173
T84Sung Kang+173
T84Ted Potter, Jr.+173
T84Matthias Schwab+173
T84Kramer Hickok+173
T84David Carey+173
T84Stuart Macdonald+173
T107Derek Ernst+274
T107Adam Long+274
T107Ben Martin+274
T107Grayson Murray+274
T107Brandon Matthews+274
T107George McNeill+274
T107Geoff Ogilvy+274
T107Robby Shelton+274
T107Austin Cook+274
T107Paul Haley II+274
T107Nicolai Hojgaard+274
T107Kyle Westmoreland+274
T107Wil Bateman+274
T120Camilo Villegas+375
T120Cameron Percy+375
T120Nick Taylor+375
T120Michael Gligic+375
T120Sangmoon Bae+375
T120David Lipsky+375
T120Maverick McNealy+375
T120Robert Streb+375
T120Augusto Núñez+375
T120Kevin Roy+375
T120Trevor Werbylo+375
T120Zecheng Dou+375
T120Ryan Hall+375
T120Michael Thorbjornsen(a)+375
T134Kyle Stanley+476
T134Ricky Barnes+476
T134Erik van Rooyen+476
T134Omar Uresti+476
T134David Hearn+476
T134Scott Harrington+476
T134Derek Lamely+476
T134Brian Stuard+476
T134Tommy Gainey+476
T143Hank Lebioda+577
T143Lanto Griffin+577
T143Taylor Durham(a)+577
T143Chad Ramey+577
T143Michael Block+577
T143Myles Creighton+577
T149William McGirt+678
T149Jim Herman+678
T151Max McGreevy+779
T151Luis Carrera+779
T151Brandt Snedeker+779
154Nick Watney+880
155Sebastian Szirmak+981
156Daniel Kim+1082
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