Friday, December 15, 2017
Golf

Dustin Johnson, Luke List share first-round lead at Canadian Open

OAKVILLE, Ontario — Dustin Johnson made a 10-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th hole Thursday for 6-under 66 and a share of the Canadian Open lead with Luke List.

"My game feels good," Johnson said. "I've got a lot of confidence in it. I feel like I'm swinging really well. I felt like I rolled the ball really nicely with the putter (Thursday). I'm definitely driving the ball nicely. I've got a lot of confidence in the driver. I feel like I can hit it in the fairway."

The U.S. Open champion set up the eagle with a 364-yard drive and 150-yard approach. In windy conditions at Glen Abbey, he also had seven birdies and drove into the water on the par-4 14th en route to double bogey.

"I drove it in the fairway a bunch. That was definitely very helpful," Johnson said. "The conditions were tough. The wind was blowing pretty hard. I felt like I played really well. I just made one bad swing on 14, just didn't quite commit to the shot I was hitting. Then I got a little unlucky for it to go in the water there. But other than that, I thought I played really, really nicely all day long."

He played the three back-nine par-5 holes in 4 under.

"I like this golf course," said Johnson, ranked second in the world. "I think it sets up well for me. I like it off the tee. The conditions are really tough right now. The greens are really firm, but they are rolling really nicely. So if you get some good looks at it, you can hole some putts."

List birdied all four par 5s in a round he closed with seven pars.

"I was happy with that," List said, "With my length, I tried to get it in play off the tee and have a smart iron into the par 5s. If I can play them 4 under every day all week, that would be great. … The rough is down this year, which makes for if you're hitting your driver relatively straight, you can take advantage of it and get some wedges out there."

Canadian amateur Jared du Toit was a stroke back along with former Arizona State teammate Jon Rahm, Chesson Hadley and Kelly Kraft. Coming off his junior season for the Sun Devils, du Toit holed out with an 8-iron for eagle on the par-4 17th and birdied 18. "I was pretty disappointed … for not birdieing 16 and followed it up with a very poor drive on 17," said du Toit of Kimberley, British Columbia. "But then had a good number. Caddie gave me a good yardage. … Came out just how I wanted. I didn't even know it went in."

CHAMPIONS: Woody Austin made four birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine and finished with 4-under 68 to take the first-round lead in the Senior British Open in Carnoustie, Scotland. Austin, 52, a Tampa native who starred at Chamberlain High in the early '80s and later at the University of Miami, rebounded from bogeys on Nos. 9 and 10 with birdies on 11, 12, 14 and 16. He has struggled since winning three times in four events this year on tour. Mark O'Meara was a stroke back along with Carlos Franco, Esteban Toledo, Joe Durant, Tom Byrum, Scott McCarron and Peter Fowler.

LPGA: The United States lost both of its four-ball matches to England, and Yani Tseng helped Taiwan sweep Australia at the International Crown in the rare team event in Gurnee, Ill. Lexi Thompson and Cristie Kerr lost 2 and 1 to Holly Clyburn and Jodi Ewart Shadoff, and Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller fell to Charley Hull and Melissa Reid by the same score. Next up is two more days of four-ball matches at the sprawling Merit Club.

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