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Hadwin caps off steady opening round with eagle to lead Canadians at PGA Championship

Adam Hadwin Adam Hadwin - The Canadian Press

Adam Hadwin was steady and capped his day off with an eagle on 18 to lead all Canadians at 3-under after the first round at the PGA Championship on Thursday.

Corey Conners (1-under), Adam Svensson (1-under), Taylor Pendrith (1-over), Nick Taylor (1-over) and Mackenzie Hughes (3-over) were the five other Canadians to tee off in the opening round.

Hadwin has historically not played his best golf at the PGA Championship, with his best run coming in 2019 when he finished tied for 29th. 

The Moose Jaw, Sask. native started his day nicely by potting a long birdie putt on the second, but struggled to keep any momentum going forward with four straight pars before carding a bogey on the par-5 seventh.

After another long run of pars, Hadwin birdied the 15th and followed that up by sinking a 38-foot putt for eagle on the last to skyrocket up the leaderboard.

Conners started his day with six straight pars before getting a birdie putt to drop on the par-5 seventh. He would follow that up with a magical approach on the 10th, sticking it just outside a couple of feet from over 120 yards for a tap-in birdie.

The only blemish on his round came on the par-3 14th, when a wayward shot off the tee left the Listowel, Ont. native in a tough spot, resulting in a bogey. He finished with a 70 on his scorecard.

Conners entered the final round of last year's PGA Championship a stroke off the lead, but faltered late and finished tied for 12th as Brooks Koepka took home the title.

After a difficult start to the day that saw him go 3-over in the first six holes, Svensson battled his way back to -1 by the end of his opening round. 

He played a bogey-free back nine, which included a beautiful second shot on the par-4 15th. 

The Surrey, B.C. native's approach from 126 yards landed just outside six feet for birdie, which he would make for his fourth and final of the day.

Pendrith's round started off relatively quiet before the 32-year-old began trading birdies and bogies on the first four holes of the back-nine.

The Richmond Hill, Ont. native would then settle down with four consecutive pars, before his third shot on the last came up well short. Pendrith would go on to two-putt for bogey, ending his first round with a 1-over 72.

Taylor's day could be neatly described as "one step forward, two steps back." Starting on the back-nine, he birdied the 13th but fell back to 1-over after bogeying two of his next four holes.

He would birdie the 18th before making the turn onto the front, but was unable to capitalize as he played the next nine holes at +1 with two more bogeys being added to the scorecard. 

Taylor will have to rebound quickly if he wants to have a chance at contending on Sunday after finishing 1-over.

Hughes was the final Canadian to tee off, and he opened on the back-nine with a birdie before things quickly went south. Three straight bogeys left Hughes 2-over after four holes, and a putting catastrophe on 15 resulted in a double-bogey.

The Hamilton, Ont. native hit a pair of birdies to round out the back-nine before a pair of bogeys and a birdie on the front-nine left him sitting at 3-over for the day. 

Xander Schauffele leads the PGA Championship by three strokes after one round with a stellar 9-under 62.