Augusta resident Taylor enjoys masterful start in Canada

Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:12pm EDT
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By Tim Wharnsby

OAKVILLE, Ontario (Reuters) - Zach Johnson's putting coach has another student hoping to find his way into the winner's circle at a national golf championship.

American Vaughn Taylor, who like British Open champion Johnson works with Pat O'Brien, was just a shot behind early leader Emiliano Grillo of Argentina in the Canadian Open first round on Thursday.

Grillo checked in with a bogey-free, eight-under 64 while Taylor, an Augusta, Georgia resident, also fired eight birdies to go along with a bogey for an opening 65 at the Glen Abbey layout.

American Steve Wheatcroft, South African Tyrone Van Aswegen and Australian amateur Ryan Ruffels were next best at six-under.

They were followed by Americans Alex Prugh, Eric Axley, William McGirt and Jim Herman at five-under as the field took advantage of the firm conditions. Axley made three eagles in his round.

Among the big names competing this week, American world number three Bubba Watson and compatriot Jim Furyk, a twice former Canadian Open champion who is ranked seventh, both opened with 68s.

South African Tim Clark, who clinched last year's title at Royal Montreal by one shot, carded an even-par 72.

The 39-year-old Taylor is 10 years removed since he successfully defended his PGA Tour title at the Reno-Tahoe Open.   Continued...

Zach Johnson of the U.S. celebrates as he kisses the Claret Jug after winning the British Open golf championship on the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, July 20, 2015. REUTERS/Paul Childs