Charl Schwartzel carded a bogey-free 67 during the final round of The Open and went on to tie for seventh place. With that in mind he headed across the pond for the RBC Canadian Open, where kept the momentum rolling with a Thursday 66 that took him into a first-round share of fifth place.
“I keep trying to find that place where you become more and more comfortable and I’ve got a long stretch of events coming up. If I can throw in another low one tomorrow, it will give me a little boost of confidence,” he said.
Royal Montreal Golf Club plays to a par of 70 and Americans Michael Putnam and Tim Petrovic led day one after each carding 64. Two shots off the pace and right in the mix was Schwartzel, who made five birdies over a seven-hole stretch to secure his spot amongst the contenders.
Tim Clark was one of the few golfers without a drop on his card and that led to an opening 67 for the Durbanite. The 2010 Players Championship winner added birdies at the seventh, eighth and 12th to secure a share of 16th place early into the week.
The 38-year-old finished tied fifth at the John Deere Classic a fortnight ago and clearly has the same form coming into the week in Canada. He’ll look for a really deep one come Friday to give himself a chance at the weekend.
Tyrone van Aswegen carded one-under-par 69 to share 44th and was followed into the clubhouse by Ernie Els, who shot 70 to share 67th at the end of round one.