Accuracy keys Da Silva's opening 69

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LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England – Entering this week’s Open Championship, the common opinion was that driving accuracy would be of utmost importance on the difficult Royal Lytham & St. Annes layout.

So maybe it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Adilson Da Silva is among the early leaders.

The longtime pro from Brazil via South Africa leads the European Tour this year with a striking 85 percent of fairways hit, albeit in limited action.

That was exactly his number on Thursday, as he found the short grass on 12 of 14 occasions, helping him to a 1-under 69 in the second group of the day.

After struggling to 3 over through four holes, Da Silva remained there through the 10th with six consecutive pars. He then followed with birdies on 11, 12, 13 and 17 to get into red numbers.

If nothing else, his early rise up the leaderboard should prove that accuracy off the tee is a key factor at this week’s event.