The first round of the 2017 British Open is now complete from Royal Birkdale golf course in Southport, England. If you are a little puzzled by the fact that there is a Canadian flag on the leaderboard, you have reason to be surprised.
That is because Canadian Austin Connelly of Irving, Texas is only two strokes back at -3. The previous sentence was not a misprint. Connelly represents Canada and has dual citizenship because his father is from Toronto, Ontario.
Connelly meanwhile is competing in his very first major of his career this weekend and is in a tie for sixth place. He is two strokes back however of three very formidable Americans–U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka of West Palm Beach, Florida, Olympic bronze medalist Matt Kuchar of Winter Park, Florida and 2015 U.S. Open and Masters champion Jordan Spieth of Dallas, Texas. Charl Schwartzel of South Africa, who won the Masters in 2011, and England’s Paul Casey are two back at -4.
Connelly meanwhile is in a six way tie for sixth place. He is tied with two Englishmen (Richard Bland and Ian Poulter), two Americans (Justin Thomas and Charley Hoffman) and Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello. All six golfers at -3 have something in common. None have won any of golf’s major tournaments in the past.