Tough start to Canadian Open for Shane Lowry as Corey Connors looks to make history

Connors has a share of the lead and is looking to become the first Canadian winner

Ireland’s Shane Lowry opened with a level par 72 at the Canadian Open as he warmed up for the US Open next week.

The Offaly man hit five birdies in his first round, but will look back in frustration on three missed putts inside five feet. One led to a double-bogey on the fourth hole, with bogeys also coming on the fifth and 11th holes.

In a tough start to the tournament he also had a bogey on the 15th, between three birdies on his final six holes.

Aaron Rai claimed a share of the lead, recovering from a terrible start to shoot a five-under-par 67 to sit alongside Corey Connors – looking to become the first Canadian winner in 69 winners – and American pair Chesson Hadley and Justin Lower.


A week before the US Open in Los Angeles, Matt Fitzpatrick’s bid for a third PGA Tour title began with a four-under-par 68 at the Oakdale Golf and Country Club. Having started on the back nine, the 28-year-old fired five birdies and would have been sharing the lead were it not for a bogey on his penultimate hole of the day.

He was one of nine players on 68, ahead of an even larger group on three-under-par which included former US Open champion Justin Rose.

Defending champion Rory McIlroy, whose build-up to the tournament saw him fielding questions about the shock merger between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, was one under after an eventful opening 71 that included five birdies and four bogeys.

“At the end of the day, this is business and my job is playing golf,” said the Irishman. “The more that I can focus on that and focus on the birdies and the bogeys instead of the stuff that’s happened in the boardroom, I’ll be much happier.

The world number three is seeking a hat-trick of victories at the Canadian Open following triumphs in 2019 and 2022, with the tournament having been cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid.