Tim Petrovic and Michael Putnam share the lead in Canada

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Tim Petrovic and Michael Putnam, the American duo, share the lead at the Canadian Open on six-under-par after the first 18 holes of play.

The pair are two of the lesser names in a star-studded field competing in Quebec, but they have both shown the sort of golf that belies their rankings.

Unlikely leaders

Petrovic’s story is particularly remarkable as he is 47-years-old and has only recorded one win in his entire career to date, which came nine years ago. Indeed, this is only the eighth tournament of the season he has qualified for.

Putnam, meanwhile, has never won on the PGA Tour before and finds himself in an unfamiliar scenario – leading after day one.

It remains to be seen whether they will be able to keep up their fine form for the remaining three days of play, but on Thursday they looked at ease with the situation.

Both played flawless rounds of golf, not dropping a shot, and carded scores of 64 which they will be very proud of regardless of what happens for the remainder of the week.

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Petrovic did most of his damage on the front-nine. He birdied the second, third, fourth and seventh before an eagle on twelve put him firmly in contention.

For Putnam, it was a similar story as four birdies on the front-nine got him off to a good start before he continued his momentum making up shots on the 12th and 17th to ensure that he joined his compatriot in the lead in the clubhouse.

The course at the Royal Montreal Golf Club has been set up to test the field’s consistency rather than their power, with it being one of the shorter tracks on the tour and both the leaders have benefited.

Neither average a particularly noticeable driving distance, but both have hit over 78% of fairways putting them in the top bracket for that imperative facet of the game this week.

Formidable field

If they keep that up, catching them will be hard, but the list of names behind them is enough to strike doubt into even the most experienced of golfers.

Major winners such as Charl Schwartzel (-4), Jim Furyk (-3) and Graeme McDowell (-2) are all within touching distance of the front-runners and will surely consider their chances of being in contention on Sunday as good.

However, the longer that the leading two can maintain their advantage the more confident they will become and three more days of the quality they played on the opening round will mean that a rare winner on the tour could be crowned.

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