RBC Canadian Open 2013 leaderboard: Matt Kuchar, Brendan Steele go low early in 1st Round

Rob Carr

For the week after a major, the Canadian Open is stocked with international talent and Matt Kuchar, the highest-ranked player in the field, shot to the top of the leaderboard early.

The afternoon groups are just making the turn at Glen Abbey, but the RBC Canadian Open is a welcome departure from the brutal scoring conditions last week at Muirfield. Several players went out in the morning and posted rounds in the mid-60s to jump up to the top of the leaderboard. And much like last week in Scotland, the afternoon wave has had a tougher go of it so far, with all those morning numbers holding up.

Brendan Steele has the clubhouse lead after a 7-under round of 65. Steele spent a few years playing on the Canadian Tour, working on his game while trying to break through and get a card on the major circuit. Steele made his way around Glen Abbey with eight birdies and avoided bogey until his last hole of the day, No. 9. That bogey prevented an inward nine of 30 and a two-shot lead, but no one in the afternoon groups has come close to matching that 65 so it looks like that will hold up throughout the day.

One shot back of Steele is a trio of golfers at 6-under, including Matt Kuchar -- probably the best player in the field this week. Kuchar also charged out with an opening 32 on his first nine, rolling in eagle at the 18th (his 9th hole of the day) to promptly get to 5-under. He stalled out a bit on his back nine but the 6-under number puts him in perfect position for his third win of the year. Kuchar has been a trendy pick at all three majors, but last week was another disappointment as the lanky Grey Goose pitchman never factored on the weekend. He's back at it this week, however, maintaining form with the WGC and PGA Championship coming up next.

Here's a current snapshot of the leaderboard, along with some notables still out on the course this afternoon:

Player Score Thru
Brendan Steele -7 F*
Scott Brown -6 F
Matt Kuchar -6 F*
Scott Gardiner -6 F
David Lingmerth -5 F
Hunter Mahan -5 F*
Chez Reavie -4 F
Patrick Reed -4 F
Chris Kirk -4 F
Bubba Watson -4 F*
Kyle Stanley -4 F
Trevor Immelman -4 F
Aaron Baddeley -4 F
Kevin Chappell -4 F
Vijay Singh -3 F
Brandt Snedeker -2 F
Jim Furyk E 13
Luke Donald 1 13
Ernie Els 2 13
Graeme McDowell 2 13

More golf from SB Nation:

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British Open A-listers make the trip to RBC Canadian Open

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Lefty dominates Muirfield's toughest stretch

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