WATCH: Canadian Graham DeLaet and two-time champion Jim Furyk set the pace in the second round at the RBC Canadian Open. Derek Meyers has the story
MONTREAL – It was a festival of birdies for the threesome of Jim Furyk, Graham DeLaet and Matt Kuchar on Friday at the US$5.7 RBC Canadian Open.
Furyk and DeLaet tied the course record at Royal Montreal with 63s while Kuchar shot 65 as they combined for 22 birdies and only three bogeys in near-perfect scoring conditions.
“When you see putts rolling in from everywhere like it was in our group, you just feel like putting’s easy or something and you just start holing them,” said DeLaet, from Weyburn, Sask. “It was fun.
“They’re both great guys and great players.”
Furyk, seeking a third Canadian Open title after wins in 2006 and 2007, moved into a tie for the clubhouse lead at 10-under-par 130 with veteran Tim Petrovic, who had five birdies and a bogey of his own en route to a 66.
Half the field was still to tee off.
DeLaet moved into third place at 8-under, while Graeme McDowell had a 65 to sit fourth at 7-under 133. Michael Putnam shot even-par 70 to tie Kuchar at six-under 134.
Furyk, DeLaet and Kuchar, all sponsored by RBC, were the top crowd attraction for the morning rounds and all three put on a show as the greens remained soft from Wednesday’s rainstroms and players attacked the pins.
“If you’re hitting fairways, you can make birdies because the greens are soft,” said DeLaet, Canada’s top-ranked player who is looking to become the first home grown player to win the Canadian Open since Pat Fletcher in 1954. “It’s scoreable.”
“The greens are very receptive,” said Furyk. “They have it set up so we can attack and fire at the pins, so the scores are going to be good.
“It’d be a totally different scenario if the greens were firm.”
Furyk came into the tournament off a sizzling 65 at Royal Liverpool on Sunday that got him fourth place in the British Open. He hopped on a charter after that round to get to the Canadian Open in time to readjust to the Eastern time zone and get reacquainted with the course, which he played while on the U.S. team at the 2007 Presidents Cup.
His game has not cooled off, even if it is too early to talk of winning a third title with two rounds left to play.
“I’ve had a lot of success (in Canada), so I have a lot of good feelings and a lot of support here, but we’re only at the halfway point,” he said. “(Saturday) is still jockeying for position.
“But I’m hitting the ball well, making some putts.”
He said the three players fed off each other’s strong play.
“Graham and Matt are laid back people, they’re fun to play golf with,” said Furyk. “We chatted a lot out there.
“When those guys are making birdies, you feel that putts are going in and it’s a good vibe.”
The course record was set in the second round at the 2001 Canadian Open by David Mooreland and Scott Verplank, the tournament winner.
“To share a course record here is pretty special and to have two guys in one group do it is pretty amazing,” said DeLaet.
Mike Weir of Bright’s Grove, Ont, shot a second straight 70. Even par may be what’s needed to make the cut.
WATCH: RBC Canadian Open – DeLaet happy with bounceback (July 24)
© 2014 The Canadian Press