For­tune shines on pair

Grillo and Tay­lor among lead­ers at Cana­dian Open af­ter first round

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY STEPHEN WHYNO OAKVILLE, ONT.

Vaughn Tay­lor felt for­tu­nate to sur­vive a boating ac­ci­dent last year. Emil­iano Grillo felt for­tu­nate to get into Canada in time to play the Cana­dian Open.

On Thurs­day, they made the most of morn­ing tee times to claim spots at the top of the leader­board. Grillo shot an 8un­der 64 to take the RBC Cana­dian Open lead, while Tay­lor shot a 7-un­der 65 to tie Brian Har­man for sec­ond af­ter the first round.

Tay­lor is al­most a year re­moved from his fish­ing boat cap­siz­ing on Lake Thur­mond be­tween South Carolina and Ge­or­gia. The 49-year-old who birdied eight holes at Glen Abbey Golf Club in the first round gained some per­spec­tive on his sport and life from the Au­gust 2014 ac­ci­dent.

“It still does,” Tay­lor said. “I kind of re­mind my­self of it to say, ’Hey, let’s not take this day for granted and make the most of it.”’

Tay­lor pan­icked in the wa­ter be­fore swimming to safety. Grillo didn’t panic ear­lier this week when it looked like he wouldn’t be able to cross the bor­der from the United States.

Grillo qual­i­fied for the RBC Cana­dian Open by fin­ish­ing in the top 10 at the Bar­ba­sol Cham­pi­onship in Alabama, which he only did by pick­ing up back-to-back birdies. Af­ter driv­ing to At­lanta and fly­ing to Buf- falo, the 22-year-old Ar­gen­tine didn’t have time to wait for the nec­es­sary work visa to get into Canada.

Af­ter he waited, bor­der of­fi­cials told Grillo just to pay for the visa and go. He fol­lowed up that “lucky” break with a bo­geyfree round to grab the lead.

“I played bet­ter on the back nine, which is harder, and the greens were dry­ing out,” Grillo said. “I kept hit­ting some solid shots un­til the end of the round, and I made some good putts on the back nine.”

David Hearn and Adam Svens­son tied for the best start by a Cana­dian player at 3-un­der 69. While a left thumb in­jury ham­pered Graham DeLaet dur­ing his even-par round, Hearn and Svens­son are very much in con­tention.

“I played a solid round of golf, and that’s what I needed to do,” Hearn said. “If I can hit a few more greens to­mor­row, I like my chances.”

Hit­ting the green might not be a prob­lem, but get­ting the ball to stop could turn into one. Golfers re­ported Glen Abbey play­ing firm and fast, and with wind those are con­di­tions con­ducive for shoot­ing well un­der par.

But it wasn’t im­pos­si­ble, es­pe­cially for those who fin­ished be- fore the sun dried out the course. Har­man may be in the best spot mov­ing for­ward with a Fri­day morn­ing tee time be­cause he went 7-un­der Thurs­day af­ter­noon.

“I drove it well, I putted well,” Har­man said. “Just had the one three-putt bo­gey, but other than that it was pretty clean.”

While Har­man was near the top of the leader­board, Robert Al­lenby was near the bot­tom with a 9-over 81. Ac­cord­ing to Score Golf, Al­lenby got into an ar­gu­ment with Mick Mid­dlemo and fired him mid-round.

A fan car­ried Al­lenby’s bag the rest of the way.

CP PHOTO

Vaughn Tay­lor hits off the 18th tee dur­ing first round of play at the Cana­dian Open golf tour­na­ment Thurs­day in Oakville, Ont.

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