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PGA: Leaderboard crowded after first day at Canadian Open

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The Sports Xchange
Bubba Watson shot a first-round 66 at the Canadian Open on Thursday. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Bubba Watson shot a first-round 66 at the Canadian Open on Thursday. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

An early string of five consecutive birdies rocketed Hudson Swafford to a share of the first-round lead at the RBC Canadian Open on Thursday in Oakville, Ontario.

Swafford posted a 7-under-par 65 at Glen Abbey Golf Club, and was one of five players with a share of the lead when play was suspended because of darkness at 8:48 p.m. EDT.

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Brandon Hagy, Kevin Chappell, Matt Every and Ollie Schniederjans also shot 65.

Fourteen players will complete their first round early Friday morning before continuing on with the second round. A rain delay stopped play for nearly two hours Thursday.

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Eleven players are tied for sixth at 66. That group includes Bubba Watson, Fiji's Vijay Singh, South Korea's K.J. Choi and defending champion Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela.

The top Canadian on Thursday was Mackenzie Hughes, who carded a 67 to tie for 17th among a group of players that includes Dustin Johnson.

Swafford parred the first hole, then birdied Nos. 2 through 6. His only bogey of the day came at No. 8, and he added three birdies on the back nine.

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He is looking for his second career PGA Tour win and second of the year, having captured the CareerBuilder Challenge at La Quinta, Calif., in January.

"I just want to get back in contention as fast as possible," Swafford said. "It happened in the early part of the season and (I) had a little lull after the Masters. Wasn't playing very good. My driver broke, and so I had problems there for a little bit. But got one that I like, and game is starting to come around at a good part of the year."

Hagy, a graduate of the Web.com Tour from last year, is looking for his first top-10 finish in a PGA Tour event. He had eight birdies and a bogey Thursday.

Chappell's round included two eagles, at the par-5 second and 16th holes.

"Doesn't happen too often, but I'm glad it happened today," Chappell said of the two-eagle day.

Chappell also got his first PGA Tour win this year, at the Valero Texas Open in April.

Schniederjans also recorded a pair of eagles, at the par-5 13th and 18th holes.

"I took advantage of the par 5s and just played real consistently well off the tee," he said. "I was in good positions all day. Just a solid round."

Every had three birdies in a row early in his bogey-free round. He was credited with making 117 feet of putts overall.

"Yeah, well, I'm not apologizing for it because I haven't made anything for about three months," Every said.

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