Canadian golfer Nick Taylor grabs early lead in Las Vegas

Canadian golfer Nick Taylor grabs early lead in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS — Canada’s Nick Taylor had to scramble for par on his opening two holes Thursday, and then he couldn’t miss in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Taylor ran off a six-hole stretch at 6-under par, including a drive on the 314-yard 15th hole at the TPC Summerlin that stopped 5 feet away for eagle. He birdied all the par 5s, kept bogeys off his card and opened with an 8-under 63 for a two-shot lead among early starters.

Phil Mickelson, who missed the cut last week at the Safeway Open in his season debut, had a 65 for his lowest round since late February.

Taylor, from Abbotsford, B.C., faced ideal conditions and the easier side at Summerlin to start his round, and he found himself having to get up-and-down to save par with 5-foot putts.

“The first two holes, I actually hit pretty good drives. Had a little bit of mud on it, so the ball just kind of took off oddly,” Taylor said. “Was able to make two good par saves, and from there was able to hit a bunch of greens, make some putts.”

The 15th hole was a bonus. On the three par 5s, he was either on in two shots or just off the green.

“That always makes the round pretty easy,” Taylor said.

Taylor, 31, is coming off for a tie for 10th last week at the Safeway Open.

The Canadian, who had six birdies and an eagle on the par-four 15th in the opening round, is in his sixth consecutive season on the PGA Tour. His lone win came in late 2014 at the Sanderson Farms Championship.

Mickelson, Brian Day and Sam Ryder were at 65. Adam Scott, who spent a year at UNLV as a teenager, was among those at 66.

Mickelson is playing Las Vegas for the first time since 2005, and he didn’t start his season well when he chopped up the par 5s at Silverado — making a 9 on one of the easier holes — to miss the cut.

Lefty wasn’t worried. Take out his play on the par 5s, and he felt his game was fine. He showed that Thursday, and finished his round with a 60-foot eagle attempt that had a chance to go in before leaving a short putt for his final birdie.

The 65 was his best score since a second-round 65 in the Mexico Championship.

With the fairways running tight and fast, Mickelson said he relied on a low cut to keep it in play and give himself chances.

“They’re not going very far, but they’re in play,” he said. “My iron play right now is really good, so I just want to give myself chances with my irons.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

46 new COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday in Alberta

Province has completed more than 500,000 COVID-19 tests

Red Deer RCMP downtown detachment to reopen front counter service

Police say new health protection measures will be in place

Two suspects arrested in connection to Parkland Mall shooting

Two suspects connected to the June 30 shooting at Parkland Mall have… Continue reading

High unemployment, $343B deficit projected in Liberals’ fiscal snapshot

Slow economic growth forecast until at least the end of 2021

Focus returns to Red Deer hospital’s expansion

Recommendations for project must be finalized

PGA Tour players grouped together after virus recovery

PGA Tour players grouped together after virus recovery

With opener fast approaching, Montoyo says Jays are hungry and ready to play

With opener fast approaching, Montoyo says Jays are hungry and ready to play

Doctor likes hub plans, but says CFL and other leagues still face issues

Doctor likes hub plans, but says CFL and other leagues still face issues

Hall of Fame induction top career accomplishment for former Stampeder Cornish

Hall of Fame induction top career accomplishment for former Stampeder Cornish

CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos speed up name review as sponsor backlash builds

CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos speed up name review as sponsor backlash builds

Almost 35,000 people pegged for removal from Canada evade border agency

Almost 35,000 people pegged for removal from Canada evade border agency

Ban federal use of facial-recognition tools, groups urge Trudeau government

Ban federal use of facial-recognition tools, groups urge Trudeau government

`A hot mess’: Americans face testing delays as virus surges

`A hot mess’: Americans face testing delays as virus surges

Most Read