Fitzpatrick and McIlroy make strong starts in Canada

Fitzpatrick and McIlroy make strong starts in Canada

Matt Fitzpatrick (10/3 – Outright) and defending champion Rory McIlroy (5/1) have both made strong starts following the opening round of the RBC Canadian Open on Thursday.

Englishman Fitzpatrick, who is chasing his first ever victory on the PGA Tour, mixed seven birdies with just one bogey as he signed for a six-under-par score of 64 that leaves him just one shot behind early pacesetter Wyndham Clark (16/1).

McIlroy is just two shots further back after signing for an opening 66 at St. George’s Golf and Country Club and the Northern Irishman was more than satisfied with his efforts, as he bids to defend the title he won in 2019 – the last time the Canadian Open was held.

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“A really solid start, 66 around here is a good score,” McIlroy told reporters. “Overall, very happy with the start of the week, especially coming off a disappointing weekend at the Memorial last weekend. It was nice to bounce back with a good score.”

Former Open champion Shane Lowry (11/1) is a stroke behind McIlroy on three-under, while there were also solid starts for world number one Scottie Scheffler (12/1) and recently crowned US PGA Champion Justin Thomas (16/1), who both signed for scores of 69.

Of course, the backdrop to this tournament is the much-talked about LIV Golf Invitational Series, which also got underway at Centurion Club near London on Thursday.

Phil Mickelson (20/1 – Outright) is among the big names featuring at that event and he marked his return to competitive action for the first time in four months with a respectable one-under-par score of 69.

Former world number one Dustin Johnson (5/1) matched Mickelson’s round, but the American duo are both four shots behind leader Charl Schwartzel (5/1), who came home in 30 to sign for a five-under 65.

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Author: Lucille White