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Canada’s Conners, Hughes 6 shots back in first round of Tokyo Olympic golf


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Canadians Corey Conners and Mackenzie Hughes each shot a 2-under 69 in their first round of the Olympic golf tournament in Japan on Thursday. 

Conners, the 29-year-old from Listowel, Ont., bogeyed on the fifth hole, but had three birdies, including one as he finished up on the 18th at the Kasumigaseki Country Club. 

Hughes, from Dundas, Ont., had two bogeys, but made up for it by notching four birdies. The Canadians are six shots back from clubhouse leader Austrian Sepp Straka.

The 28-year-old Austrian found great success, shooting an 8-under 63 with eight birdies along the way — including four over a five-hole stretch. Straka tied an Olympic record with his opening-round score. 

Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond is one shot back in second, with Belgium’s Thomas Pieters and Carlos Ortiz of Mexico tied for third at 6-under. 

Mackenzie Hughes of Canada looks on during competition at the Kasumigaseki Country Club. (Toby Melville/Reuters)

Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama, who recently became Japan’s first men’s major champion at The Masters, also finished up the first round at 2-under, as did Ireland’s Rory McIlroy.

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McIlroy bogeyed twice, but also had four birdies. 

Earlier in the week, world No. 1 Jon Rahm of Spain and No. 6 American Bryson DeChambeau had to withdraw after testing positive for COVID-19. No. 2 Dustin Johnson of the U.S. isn’t competing. 

On the women’s side, Brooke Henderson and Alena Sharp will be back to represent Canada for the second consecutive time.

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