Closing birdie blast gives Na lead at Canadian Open

Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:17pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

OAKVILLE, Ontario (Reuters) - American Kevin Na birdied his final five holes to grab the clubhouse lead in the first round of the rain-hit Canadian Open Thursday.

Na, chasing his first career PGA Tour win, provided a blistering finish to a soggy day with birdies on nine of his final 12 holes, the last in fading light, on the way to a bogey-free, nine-under 63.

Americans Joe Durant, Scott Verplank and South African Retief Goosen were lurking two shots back.

Jimmy Walker was a shot further adrift on six-under with four holes still to complete when play was suspended due to darkness.

A total of 39 players failed to even start their rounds.

The 100th edition of the event got off to miserable start as driving rain chased the golfers from the Glen Abbey layout shortly after the first round began.

When play finally resumed, seven-and-a-half hours later and after more than an inch of rain had been squeezed out of the course, the birdies came thick and fast.

Goosen and Verplank, with six birdies on his last nine, returned error-free 65s while Durant joined the group with the help of a hole-in-one on the par three seventh.   Continued...

<p>Sean O'Hair of the U.S. watches his approach shot to the 14th hole during the first round at the Canadian Open golf tournament at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ontario, July 23, 2009. REUTERS/ Mike Cassese</p>