Wyndham Clark claims early Canadian Open lead, but Rory McIlroy remains in contention

The first Canadian Open in three years got underway on Thursday, with Matt Fitzpatrick and Rory McIlroy getting off to strong starts.

Matt Fitzpatrick made a strong start to the Canadian Open after finishing one stroke behind leader Wyndham Clark.

Clark was at it from the off at St. George's Golf & Country Club as he opened with five straight birdies before closing out a bogey-free 63.

Defending champion Rory McIlroy who, three years to the day claimed the title, is not out of contention either.

The Northern Irishman finished with a 66 to settle in just three shots behind the leader, alongside Tony Finau, Lee Hodges and Mackenzie Hughes.

In 2019, McIlroy carded a stunning final round of 61 at Hamilton Golf and Country Club to seal a seven-shot triumph.

Last month, Fitzpatrick missed out on his first major title by two strokes in the US PGA Championship at Southern Hills.

"Really, really happy with the way I played today, just solid all around," Fitzpatrick said.

"Had a couple of opportunities to chip it a little bit closer, but other than that, I'm being really picky.

"Everything in my game was going well. So, yeah, I'm happy with the start."

Rory McIlroy, meanwhile, described his round as 'solid,' but he will be keen to make inroads ahead of the weekend.

"A really solid start, 66 around here is a good score," McIlroy said.

"Overall, very happy with the start of the week, especially coming off a disappointing weekend at the Memorial last weekend. It was nice to bounce back with a good score."

Elsewhere, Shane Lowry hir a three-under 67, while world number one Scottie Scheffler alongside Juston Thomas.

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