Texan Martin Flores (-12) leads the way at the RBC Canadian Open through 36 holes.
Flores turned in his second straight 66 on Friday at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ontario and will take a one-stroke lead into the weekend over a trio of players.
Long-hitting Gary Woodland, Matt Every and Brandon Hagy are each sitting at -11.
Flores, who has played in five previous Canadian Opens with a t-19 in 2012 as his best finish, has made just one bogey in 36 holes played at the Jack Nicklaus design located just west of Toronto.
“I was putting the ball in the fairway, that’s for sure,” said Flores when asked to comment about his second round. “But the big thing I’ve been working on is getting the ball up-and-down. I wasn’t quite as tidy with my approaches coming in as the wind was picking up, and I was getting the ball up-and-down, just keeping the momentum in my favour.”
Having been on the offence all week so far, Flores says his weekend plans call for more of the same.
“Keep attacking,” he shared. “It’s been soft so far. Try to keep doing the same things: Drive the ball in the fairway and give myself some looks.”
Much of the field is taking advantage of the receptive fairways and greens, all softened by rains earlier this week. A total of 76 pros made the cut which came at a record score of -4. That is the lowest cut at the RBC Canadian Open since at least 1971. It was -3 at 2009 at Glen Abbey GC and was matched the next year at St. George’s G&CC.
The Canadian Story
Within the players making the cut were just two Canadian golfers. Graham DeLaet (68-68) and Mackenzie Hughes (67-69) are both at -8 and sharing 14th place.
DeLaet is pleased with his position and his play.
“Yeah, I’m in the hunt. Just to make the cut here is pretty good for me. I’m happy with where I’m at. I think it’s going to take two really good rounds on the weekend or something really special one of the two days. But I’m in the mix, so I’m excited about it.”
Hughes had some regrets about his Friday play, feeling he missed a few opportunities to score even better, which will be a necessity to catch the leaders. As he stated after the round about what he will need to do in the final 36, his goal is pretty simple – “Go really low.”
He added, “Seems like the guys aren’t slowing down, and the wind today, it was pretty steady for the most part. It’s probably the best it’s been all day. The scores are going to keep getting better and I’m going to need to go shoot a round kind of like I did the first day and if it could be one or two better, even better. I’m playing well. I’ve just got to cut out some of the silly mistakes I made today. But game’s good.”
Five other Canadians – Bryn Parry, Nick Taylor, Hugo Bernard, Drew Nesbitt, and David Hearn fell just one shot shy of the weekend after posting -3 totals.
T14 Graham DeLaet – Weyburn, Ont. – 68-68 -8
T14 Mackenzie Hughes – Dundas, Ont. – 67-69 -8
— DID NOT ADVANCE —
MC Nick Taylor – Abbotsford, B.C. – 69-72 -3
MC David Hearn – Brantford, Ont. 69-72 -3
MC Bryn Parry – Vancouver, B.C. 70-71 -3
MC Drew Nesbitt – Shanty Bay, Ont. – 72-69 -3
MC Hugo Bernard (a) – Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Que. – 71-70 -3
MC Austin James (a) – Bath, Ont. – 71-72 -1
MC Adam Hadwin – Abbotsford, B.C. – 75-69 E
MC Mike Weir – Brights Grove, Ont. – 72-73 +1
MC Daniel Kim – Toronto, Ont. – 73-72 +1
MC Riley Wheeldon – Comox, B.C. – 74-72 +2
MC Matt Hill – Brights Grove, Ont. – 71-76 +3
MC Brad Fritsch – Manotick, Ont. – 72-75 +3
MC Jared du Toit – Kimberley, B.C. – 71-79 +6
MC Ryan Williams – Surrey, Ont. – 78-77 +11
MC Garrett Rank – Elmira, Ont. – 74-81 +11
One unusual note from the RBC Canadian Open came late Friday night. TSN is reporting that Tournament Director Brent McLaughlin has been temporarily suspended from his position and replaced by former Tournament Director Bill Paul.
New Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum confirmed the situation to the outlet but would not comment further. More details are expected Saturday morning.