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ILE-BIZARD, Que. - Okay, so Taylor Pendrith's dad isn't really much of a golfer, but Taylor could hit the ball by his dad by the time he was 14.
So now he's 23 and could be saying, "who's your daddy?" to a few of the world's best players after crushing the ball on his way to a 5-under par 65, a stroke off the lead, tied for third and good for the low Canadian after the first round of the RBC Canadian Open at Royal Montreal.
Pendrith, a native of Richmond Hill, Ont., and the 17th-ranked amateur in the world, averaged 309.3 yards off the tee at Royal Montreal, about 13 yards longer than the next guy. He cranked out eight drives over 300 yards, his longest a 365-yard bomb on the par-4 eighth hole. He had the three longest drives of the day and four of the top five.
Chicks might dig the long ball in baseball. All golfers are fascinated by the bombers.
"I'm a pretty aggressive player. Driver is my best club in the bag. When I hit it straight, I usually play good and today I hit it very straight," said the recent graduate of Kent State University's golf team.
Pendrith's ball speed averaged 184.435 mph Thursday. Long-hitting Dustin Johnson checked in at 178.322, by comparison.
He did a pretty good job with his shorter clubs, too. His average approach shot distance to the pin was 27 feet, seven inches, tied for 10th in the field.
"I hit it in some good spots off the tee which left me with short irons in, chip shots a couple of times, which gave me good advantage to just hit it close and capitalize," he said.
"So it was a fun day."
Pendrith, playing his first PGA Tour even, is a shot off the lead held by Americans Michael Putnam and Tim Petrovic.
He said he'll think about turning pro in the fall.