Brendan Steele takes opening-round lead at 2013 RBC Canadian Open

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Brendan Steele fired a 7-under 65 on Thursday to take the opening-round lead at the 2013 RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club.

Steele, a 1-time winner on the PGA TOUR with his victory at the 2011 Valero Texas Open, carded eight birdies at Glen Abbey and closed with a 4-under 31 back nine. He currently leads by one-stroke over Matt Kuchar, Scott Brown and Scott Gardiner, who all sit in a tie for second at 6-under.

“Really just an overall good day. I hit a lot of good shots and was able to hole some putts,” Steele said. “When you have a good round like that and you play that well, you kind of have everything going. Today was probably the most complete round that I’ve had all year.”

Brad Fritsch of Ottawa, Ont., led the way for the 18-member Canadian contingent after closing his final nine with three straight birdies to post a 3-under 69. Fritsch currently sits in a tie for 16th one stroke ahead of David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., who carded an opening round 2-under 70.

Hearn played alongside fellow Canadian Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask., who carded an opening round even-par 72 after an early triple-bogey on the par-4 14th hole.  A large Canadian gallery followed the pairing and both players were delighted with the crowd support throughout the day.

“It was awesome, 7:20 a.m. in the morning and we had a big group of people out there follow the three of us,” said DeLaet. “It was a lot of fun, as we went around we kind of picked up more and more people as we went. Tomorrow, I think with the afternoon tee times, it should be fun.”

Team Canada’s Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont., opened with a 1- under 71 and currently sits in a tie for 41st alongside Hearn in his RBC Canadian Open debut.

A complete list of opening-round scores from the 2013 RBC Canadian Open is available atwww.pgatour.com.

NOTABLE ROUND 1 CANADIAN SCORES
T16 – Brad Fritsch (-3)
T29 – David Hearn (-2)
T41 – Roger Sloan (-1)
T41 – Corey Conners (Amateur) (-1)
T69 – Graham DeLaet (E)

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