Lydia Ko is back at one of her favourite tournaments and is in the mix for another top finish.

Ko sits in a share of sixth at the Canadian Open, an event she has won three times previously. Despite the tournament changing venues every year, Kiwi Ko has triumphed in 2012 and 2013 as an amateur, as well as in 2015, and she is in with a chance of another title after an opening round six-under 66.

Ko carded six birdies and no bogies to sit just two shots off the lead shared by Mariajo Uribe, Nasa Hataoka and world No2 Ariya Jutanugarn, and says she is pleased with her start to the tournament.

"My ball-striking was definitely the highlight - I gave myself quite a few good looks for birdies and I felt like I left some out there. Overall it was really solid," Ko said.


She isn't the only other New Zealander in with a chance of a top finish, with Danny Lee in a share of fifth at four-under at the Northern Trust on the PGA Tour.

The event doubles as the first tournament of the end-of-year FedEx Cup playoffs, with the top 100 players in the year-long FedEx Cup rankings progressing to the next tournament. Lee came into the event 103rd overall, and after a round with three birdies, an eagle and a bogey, he is projected to move into 65th.

He is projected to require a top 44 finish to secure a berth in the next big-money playoff event.

The tournament is led by a surprising quartet of Americans - Kevin Tway, Jamie Lovemark, Vaughn Taylor and Sean O'Hair, but the big names are looming, with the English duo of Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood joining recent major winners Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka in being tied with Lee, just a shot off the lead.

The other New Zealander playing on a major tour this weekend is Josh Geary, who sits in a share of 87th at one-under at the Czech Masters on the European Tour. Geary is seven shots off the lead held by Thomas Pieters, Gavin Green, Callum Tarren and, remarkably, John Daly, who carded his best round on Tour since 2005.

Fighting a knee injury that forced him to withdraw after two rounds last week in the PGA Tour Champions event in New York, Daly had eight birdies in the bogey-free round at Albatross Golf Resort.

"It was fun," Daly said. "I hit a lot of good shots and made a few putts. I drove the ball really well. There were so many pins that were perfect yardages for me - comfortable shots all day long."

The two-time major champion won the last of his five PGA Tour titles in 2004.


The event is also crucial for players to qualify for the Ryder Cup. England's Eddie Pepperell needs to win the tournament to move into an automatic qualifying place and had seven birdies and a bogey in his 66 to sit two shots off the lead. Pepperell is tied with eight others, including Ryder Cup vice-captain Lee Westwood.

The Czech Masters is the penultimate tournament for qualifying for the Ryder Cup, which will be played at the end of next month in France.

- Additional reporting AP