Three Canucks in hunt after strong opening rounds at Canadian Open

ANCASTER, Ont. — Four Canadians were within three shots of the lead toward the end of the morning wave of the opening round of the RBC Canadian Open on Thursday.

Nick Taylor of Abbotsford, B.C., led the way for the home country, shooting a 6-under 65 at Hamilton Golf & Country Club. That was one stroke behind clubhouse leader Keegan Bradley of the U.S.

Bradley did not expect his clubhouse lead would survive the afternoon with a hot sun drying out a course that had been thoroughly soaked by rainfall the day before.

“I think the course is out there for sure. Scores, I would assume, will be pretty low,” said Bradley. “If you put the ball in the fairway you can really make some birdies out here. If not, it can get tricky.”

Taylor, who started on hole No. 10, made four birdies on a row to open his back nine.

Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford carded a 5-under 66, while David Hearn of nearby Brantford, Ont., and Drew Nesbitt of Shanty Bay, Ont., both shot 67.

Hearn and Hadwin were in a group with Mike Weir of Brights Grove, Ont., who shot an even-par 70.

“It was great. It was early on. Usually don’t get those crowds that early, so playing with Mike Weir and David Hearn, it was awesome,” Hadwin said. ”Fun atmosphere.”

No Canadian has won the national championship since Pat Fletcher in 1954. Twenty-six Canadians are in the field at the PGA Tour event.

A three-minute pause in play starting at 12:10 p.m. local time was held as six planes from the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum flew over the course to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy, France.

John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press

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