Camilo Villegas joins Kevin Na atop RBC Canadian Open leaderboard

Camilo Villegas finished his first round in style and joined Kevin Na atop the leaderboard at the RBC Canadian Open.

Camilo Villegas at the British Open Golf on July 19.

OAKVILLE, Ont. — Camilo Villegas finished his first round in style and joined Kevin Na atop the leaderboard at the RBC Canadian Open.

The Colombian was among the players who returned to Glen Abbey early Friday morning and played his final six holes in 6-under par to match Na’s 63. One of his best shots was the 15-foot chip he drained for eagle at the 18th.

“What a great way to finish the round,” said Villegas.

Jerry Kelly also made some noise on Friday morning and posted a bogey-free 65 that could have been even better — he made seven straight pars coming in. He was part of a group two shots behind that included Scott Verplank, Retief Goosen, Joe Durant, Peter Tomasulo and Martin Laird.

Calgary’s Stephen Ames shot a 4-under 68 to post the lowest score among the 15 Canadians in the field. Chris Baryla of Vernon, B.C., had a 69 and amateur Matt Hill of Bright’s Grove, Ont., fired a 70.

Mike Weir, also of Bright’s Grove, shot a 71.

Rain delayed the first round of the tournament for more than seven hours on Thursday and forced the field to try and play catch up. The second round didn’t start until Friday afternoon and won’t be completed until Saturday morning.

The wet conditions left the par-72 Glen Abbey layout virtually defenceless.

“You can get after it,” said Kelly.

Na grabbed the opening round lead on Thursday night thanks in part to some sound advice from caddie Kenny Harms immediately following the long rain delay.

After pulling his tee shot into the trees on No. 11, Na wanted to try hitting a risky approach to a green protected by water. Harms didn’t like that choice and the two briefly argued before Na elected to play safe.

“He rarely says you can’t do something,” said Na. “He made me pitch out, and I ended up making a 15-footer for par that kind of kept the round going. And after that I started to back down and started catching fire.”

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