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Piercy punches holes in rivals

AMERICAN'S sharp 62 puts him in charge in CanadaAMERICAN Scott Piercy held a one-shot lead over England's Greg Owen after an amazing opening day of record scoring and impressive recovery in the RBC Canadian Open.

Owen held the lead and a share of the course record after overcoming a nightmare start, but an hour later Piercy's best of 62 at the Hamilton G&CC put him in charge.

"In all honesty I didn't feel like I had a very good feel for the golf course teeing up on the first hole," Piercy said.

"I flew in late on Tuesday, played the pro-am, so I'm kind of jet-lagged playing, and kind of scraped through yesterday."

Piercy made five birdies, two eagles and just one bogey in the opening round, closing in 30.

Owen, who started his round on the back nine, dropped three shots in his opening two holes with a double-bogey on the par-four 10th followed by a bogey five on the 11th.

But he recovered to hit six birdies in his next nine holes and then an eagle three at the par-five fourth and another birdie at the fifth lifted him to six under. He went on to pick up another shot before completing his round.


But that was before Piercy came to the front with his course best round of 62.

Piercy finished the day on eight under, one shot ahead of Owen and American William McGirt. Robert Garrigus sat alone on six under.

Open champion Ernie Els finished on two over.

Meanwhile, heavy rain and the threat of lightning caused play to be abandoned midway through the second round of the Lyoness Open in Austria, with Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen sitting on a three-shot clubhouse lead. The 22-year-old's excellent form that saw him finish ninth in last week's Open Championship -- his sixth top-10 finish of the season -- continued as he moved onto 12-under par after completing his second round.

Starting one behind Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal, Olesen's first task of the day was to complete the four remaining holes of his first round caused by an earlier rain delay.

He picked up a birdie at the 17th to complete a first round 64 then after a quick turnaround enjoyed perfect conditions to sign for a second round 68.

Thomas Levet finished with a second round 70 to sit in second place, three shots behind the Dane.


England's Richard Bland (67) was next best on eight under par, with Dutchman Wil Besseling (72) on seven under par, together with home favourite Bernd Wiesberger, the Ballantine's Championship winner, who shot a superb round of 66 to move into contention.

Overnight leader Larrazabal struggled to maintain his momentum, and the Spaniard was on two over par after nine holes when play was suspended at Diamond Country Club in Atzenbrugg, with most players still on the front nine.

Olesen holed birdie putts from 12 and 25 feet at the fourth and fifth respectively, before striking his approach shot to three feet at the eighth hole.

"There was quite a strong wind out there at times," he said.

"I struggled a bit round the turn and hit a few bad drives, but I managed to hit some good shots coming home, so I'm happy to get in on 12-under par.

"It's been a long day, but a very good one."