OAKVILLE, Ontario (AP) — Matt Kuchar fought dizzy spells in the first round of the RBC Canadian Open on Thursday, four days after finishing second behind Jordan Spieth in the British Open.
“I had a couple of spells where I got a little bit of dizzy and I feel weak,” Kuchar said. “I don’t know where it came from. I’ve had plenty of time to get over the travel. Hopefully, it’s just something that passes real quick. … I shook it off the couple times it happened.”
The 39-year-old American became dizzy marking a ball and sought medical attention during the morning round at Glen Abbey. After playing the first 11 holes in 4 under, he made a double bogey on the par-4 third and bogeyed the par-4 eighth en route to a 1-under 71.
Kuchar was six strokes behind leaders Kevin Chappell, Matt Every, Hudson Swafford, Brandon Hagy and Ollie Schniederjans in the round that was suspended because of darkness after afternoon play was interrupted for nearly two hours by lightning and rain.
“He had been over to mark a putt after he missed it and got a little light-headed,” said playing partner Bubba Watson, a stroke back after a 66. “He just came up a little slow. I don’t know why. It’s a little warm after the rain. Had a rain jacket on. Probably just a little light-headed. And then the travel. He played over there, a lot of energy used last week. Second place is a lot of energy used over that and then flying back over here with the time change, probably just one of those things. Maybe a little dehydrated.”
Kuchar has an endorsement deal with tournament sponsor RBC.
On Sunday at Royal Birkdale in England, he finished three strokes behind Spieth. Kuchar had a one-stroke lead with five holes to play before Spieth rallied and pulled away with a birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie stretch.
Defending champion Jhonattan Vegas, Vijay Singh, Jim Herman, Peter Malnati and Martin Flores matched Watson at 66. Top-ranked Dustin Johnson had a 67. He eagled the par-5 13th and had six birdies and three bogeys.
“Just had a few putts lip out on the back, and then, just didn’t drive it well the back nine,” Johnson said. “But when I did drive it in the fairway, I had good holes. I’m swinging really well, especially with the irons. … Tomorrow, I just need to go out in the morning and hit a few more fairways.”
Chappell had two eagles, playing alongside fellow leader Every in the afternoon. Chappell made a 12-foot putt from the fringe on the par-5 16th for his first eagle and holed a 15-footer from the fringe on the par-5 second.
“Doesn’t happen too often, but I’m glad it happened today,” Chappell said. “I hit it really well. Got the ball in play on the par 5s, so I was able to attack those.”
Schniederjans also had two eagles. He chipped in on 13 and made a 15-footer on 18.
“I took advantage of the par 5s and just played real consistently well off the tee,” Schneiderjans said. “I was in good positions all day. Just a solid round.”
Mackenzie Hughes topped the 17 Canadians at 67.
“If you hit it in the fairway, you can be aggressive,” Hughes said. “The few fairways I missed, I was just trying to make par and you have to be a little bit defensive. All in all it was a great day. Probably could be a bit better, but I made a couple nice par putts, too. Overall, happy with my start.”
Fourteen players were unable to finish. Kramer Hickok led the group at 5 under with a hole left.
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