- Amateur qualifier Victor Ciesielski low Canadian at two-under 68 - (Courtesy of Canadian Press - Chris Johnston) ANCASTER, Ont. (CP) _ It took Jim Furyk and Justin Rose just 18 holes to wipe out any notion that Hamilton Golf and Country Club was going to punish the PGA Tour players once again. Softened and defenceless after a week of rain, the venerable course looked vulnerable Thursday as the Canadian Open leaderboard was awash in red numbers. Furyk`s and Rose`s names were at the top after shooting spectacular 7-under 63s, giving them a one-shot lead over Brandt Jobe, Nathan Green and Frank Lickliter II and a two-stroke margin over a group of five players that includes Jesper Parnevik. ``We were fortunate that it was soft,`` said Furyk, the top-ranked player here this week. ``I played a good round today but I was obviously aided by the weather and the conditions.`` The leaders needed just one day to nearly equal Bob Tway`s total winning score of 8-under from 2003, when the Canadian Open was last held at Hamilton. Only 21 players broke par during the first round that week while 70 came in with a score in the 60s on Thursday. The course is the exact same 6,983 yards, but it looks like a totally different layout than the one Tway won on by deftly handling fairways and greens that were slicker than oil. ``It is a completely different golf course,`` said Parnevik, who missed the cut in 2003. While top Canadian pros Mike Weir and Stephen Ames struggled in front of the home crowd with matching 1-over 71s, Monday qualifier Victor Ciesielski of Cambridge, Ont., shined. The 21-year-old university student shot a 68 in his first round at a PGA Tour event and was tied for 29th, the highest of any of the 16 Canadian players in the field. ``It was pretty special,`` Ciesielski said. Furyk and Rose took advantage of receptive greens for special rounds of their own. They bettered Tommy Armour`s 76-year-old professional course record by one stroke with the 63s. Warren Sye of Weston, Ont., shot a 62 during the 1991 Ontario Amateur for the overall best round at Hamilton. When Parnevik went out early and made four birdies in his first five holes, it was clear that the field was facing a different test at Hamilton. Furyk soon followed, holing a nine-iron from 120 yards for an eagle on the par-4 12th - his third hole of the day - before sprinkling in five birdies during a bogey-free round. He walked off the 18th green hoping for sunshine to dry things up, but was aware that more rain is forecast for the weekend. ``It`s not showing any signs of firming up,`` Furyk said with a touch of woe in his voice. ``When the golf course gets firm and fast it tends to spread the field out a lot more. It rewards good shots and hinders bad shots, whereas when it`s soft you can kind of get away with some stuff.`` Rose found similar soft conditions in the afternoon and continued his hot play just a few days after his best finish of the season - a tie for fourth at the Deutsche Bank Championship. His round really got going on the third hole when he made a curling 35-footer for birdie. Rose then started striking his irons crisply and added six more birdies by taking dead aim at the flags. He knows he`ll need to keep being aggressive. ``All it is is a good start,`` said Rose. ``You`re going to have to keep going forwards.`` The 26-year-old from England doesn`t mind if the Canadian Open turns into a birdie bonanza. There isn`t a hole he dislikes at the picturesque course and thinks that a soft Hamilton layout still offers a challenge. ``It`s no pushover,`` Rose said. ``It commands respect even though it`s playing soft right now. You`ve still got to shoot at some flags and stay away from others.`` Defending champion Mark Calcavecchia opened with a 4-under 66 and was just happy to be playing well on any golf course. The 46-year-old has struggled since his victory at Shaughnessy in Vancouver last season and is currently battling shoulder and back pain. A return to Canada has been just what the doctor ordered. ``I`m just in a tournament that I love,`` he said. ``I`ve got a lot of pride to put up a good show and try and prove that last year wasn`t a fluke.`` NEWS AND NOTES FROM THE 2006 CANADIAN OPEN: Canadian Content… The following are Canadian opening-round scores for Thursday, September 07, 2006. (a) Victor Ciesielski, Cambridge, Ont. 68 Darren Griff, Nanaimo, BC 69 David Hearn, Brantford, Ont. 69 James Lepp, Abbotsford, B.C. 69 (a) Richard Scott, Kingsville, Ont. 69 Ian Leggatt, Cambridge, Ont. 70 Stephen Ames, Calgary, Alta. 71 Danny King, Milton, Ont. 71 Mike Weir, Bright’s Grove, Ont. 71 Wes Heffernan Calgary, Alta. 72 (a) James Love, Calgary, Alta. 72 David Morland IV, Aurora, Ont. 72 (a) Todd Halpen, Calgary, Alta. 73 Jim Rutledge, Victoria, B.C. 73 Jon Mills, Oshawa, Ont. 73 Brad Fritsch, Manotick, Ont. 74 Weathered Results… A recent wave of rainy conditions has left the championship-tested Hamilton layout with a bit less of the opening-round bite it showed in 2003. On Thursday, 91 players fired even-par or better including 71 below par. The last time the club hosted in 2003, only 32 players shot ever par or better with only 21 below par. Through the gates: The Hamilton community promised to step up and support the PGA Tour leading up to this week’s championship and Thursday’s opening round proved just that as 18,000 golf fans made their way out to the Hamilton Golf and Country Club. Super accomplishment Hamilton Golf and Country Club superintendent Rhod Trainor was honoured by his peers on Wednesday as he was presented a citation by the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association in recognition of his efforts in preparing the storied layout to once again challenge the PGA Tour’s finest. Second round start times Canada’s only PGA event continues Friday with second round action teeing off at 7:20 am off the first and tenth tee at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club. Pairings and start times are available online at and Spectators are reminded that cell phones, pagers, cameras and video cameras are NOT permitted on the tournament grounds and will be confiscated by security. TV Coverage The television broadcast schedule for the 2006 Canadian Open is as follows: Friday, Sept. 8 1:00 pm- 6:00 pm (TSN) 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm (RDS) Saturday, Sept. 9 1:00 pm- 3:00pm (TSN) 3:00pm - 6:00pm (CTV, RDS & ESPN) Sunday, Sept. 10 1:00 pm- 3:00pm (TSN) 3:00pm - 6:00pm (CTV, RDS & ESPN) Media Centre Press Conference: Thursday interview transcripts and MP3 audio files of Jim Furyk, Justin Rose, Brandt Jobe, Jesper Parnevik, Victor Ciesielski, Mike Weir and defending champion Mark Calcavecchia are available on line at A Look Ahead… Second-round pairings for Friday, September 8th at the Canadian Open are available on-line at and What to do onsite at Hamilton Golf and Country Club… In the spectator village: • The Bell Store is your one-stop shop for all your telecommunications needs. While you’re there, have your swing video-taped and compare it to the pros! • Check out the neat interactive lights and laser display in the Pengrowth booth. You won’t believe your eyes. • Sign up all week at the BMO Mosaik MasterCard and receive a free water bottle. • Try a refreshing new fruit drink - Dole Sparklers!!! On the grounds: • Win prizes at the Lincoln Putt Like A Pro activity located the on the walkway between the Spectator Village and the Clubhouse. • Try to post the longest drive of the day at the Wrigley’s Extra long drive golf simulator. Don’t forget to pick up your Extra gum. • Golf Town has your tournament merchandise needs covered. If you are looking for souvenir hats, shirts, flags, divot tools and golf balls, Golf Town has it. Located in the Spectator Village and between the 17th and 18th fairways. • Don’t forget that MasterCard is the preferred card of the Canadian Open and it is accepted at Golf Town, Champions Club and the Molson Beer Garden. • Grab some lunch and a cold drink while watching the action on the 17th hole at the Molson Beer Garden. • Taste Australia’s finest wine and test your putting skills to win prizes from Penfolds. • Check out the Extra long drives on hole # 2 presented by Wrigley’s Extra (WEDNESDAY–SUNDAY) • Predict the pro that is Longest in the Air or Fewest on the Ground at the Purolator tent located behind the tenth tee for your chance to win. (THURSDAY-SUNDAY) Limited tickets for all tournament rounds and can be purchased on site at Hamilton Golf and Country Club. For more information, visit or call 1-800-571-OPEN. ABOUT THE CANADIAN OPEN This year the world`s best professional golfers will compete for $5 million U.S. at the 2006 Canadian Open, September 4-10 at Hamilton Golf & Country Club in Hamilton, Ontario. Established in 1904, the Canadian Open is the third-oldest national open golf championship worldwide. Only the British Open and the U.S. Open are older. The Canadian Open is proudly sponsored by Bell, Pengrowth, Ford of Canada, PricewaterhouseCoopers, BMO Financial Group, Extra, Golf Town, Innova Life Sciences, MasterCard, Molson, Penfolds, Pepsi and Purolator. ABOUT THE ROYAL CANADIAN GOLF ASSOCIATION The Royal Canadian Golf Association (RCGA) is the governing body of golf in Canada, representing close to 400,000 members at over 1550 clubs across the country. Some of the RCGA`s core services include the Rules of Golf, handicapping and course rating, support of turfgrass and environmental research, the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum and CN Future Links, Canada`s national junior golf program. In addition, the RCGA conducts Canada`s most prestigious golf championships. The Canadian Open and CN Canadian Women`s Open attract the best professional golfers in the world, while six regional junior championships, 10 national amateur championships and the CN Canadian Women`s Tour showcase the best of Canadian golf. For more information please visit -30- MEDIA CONTACTS: Anthony Alfred Director, Media and Public Relations Royal Canadian Golf Association t: 905.304.1399 or 416.819.0286 (cell) w: e: Dan Pino Manager, Media and Public Relations Royal Canadian Golf Association t: 905.304.1399 or 416.434.5525 (cell) w: e:

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