The Graeme and Graham show at RBC
July 25, 2014
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
- Graeme McDowell looks for his first win this season while Graham DeLaet is playing for first TOUR win. (photos by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
L’ILE BIZARD, Quebec – Thursday at the RBC Canadian Open was all about the three P’s – Petrovic, Putnam, and Pendrith. On Friday, at least according to the crowd’s excitement and the numbers on the leaderboard, it was all about the Grahams (or, the Graemes, depending on your choice of spelling).
After a day where Graeme McDowell admitted he was feeling tired – “It’s kind of bedtime in the UK for me right now,” he said Thursday evening – he “felt a lot fresher this morning” and his score reflected that.
His 5-under 65 puts him at 7-under for the championship, and tied for fifth with three others.
Jim Furyk leads the way at 10-under, tied with first round co-leader Tim Petrovic.
Meanwhile, Graham DeLaet had one of the rounds of the day: he and playing partner Jim Furyk both shot 7-under 63s to match Royal Montreal’s course record. DeLaet finished at 8-under, and is tied for third with Kyle Stanley.
Both said they were feeding off the success of each other, and in the case of McDowell, he was seeing what was happening ahead of him – the Furyk/DeLaet group – and was trying to keep up.
“If it’s possible to feed off the group in front of you, I was kind of doing that a little bit. Some good players up there,” McDowell said.
DeLaet wasn’t aware of what McDowell, playing behind him, was doing. But, the fine play of his other group members was driving him to score well too.
“All of us were making so many birdies out there. I mean, there could have been more. But it was a good day,” explained DeLaet. “It was fun.”
Although Graham and Graeme won’t be playing together Saturday, they did play an exhibition match at the already-famed Cabot Links in Nova Scotia in September 2013. At the time, McDowell said Cabot Links looked a lot like his native Portrush and hoped for something of a home field advantage.
It worked out in McDowell’s favor that day, as he drummed DeLaet by five strokes and set the course record.
Today was slightly reversed, as it was DeLaet shooting the course record. He did so on the heels of some strong putting – something different for the 32-year-old. DeLaet is ranked 137th in strokes gained-putting this year, but this week he’s first in the field.
“When you see putts rolling in from everywhere like it was in our group today, you just feel like putting is easy or something,” he admitted.
For now, McDowell and DeLaet remain separated by one shot on the leaderboard and a couple letters in their names.
But, they both want their name – no matter the spelling – to be called as the “RBC Canadian Open Champion” come Sunday night.
BEST SOCIAL MEDIA OF THE DAY
FYI - The Royal Montreal Golf Club, host of this week's #RBCCO, was a founding member club of the RCGA (now Golf Canada) in 1895.— Golf Canada (@TheGolfCanada) July 25, 2014
CADDIE CONFIDENCE: When it comes to Montreal’s two most famous dishes, it always comes down to two choices – either poutine (french fries topped with gravy and cheese curds) or a smoked meat sandwich.
For Graham DeLaet’s caddie Julian Trudeau – who was born and raised in Saint-Lambert, Quebec – the choice is easy.
“You’ve got to go with the smoked meat. It’s a little healthier.”
Although the healthiness of a smoked meat sandwich may be up for debate, there’s no debating the success of him and DeLaet since they joined forces in 2012. DeLaet’s enjoyed some of his best seasons on TOUR, rising all the way to 30th in the Official World Golf Ranking.
On Friday, DeLaet got a lot of attention, but Trudeau also enjoyed himself as well.
“All three of the guys get along really good, and all three guys were feeding off one another,” he said of DeLaet and his playing partners.
Trudeau, a former Big Break Ireland contestant - and fiancé to Mal Blackwelder, a fellow contestant on the show and Symetra Tour golfer – said it was somewhat of a home game, as Saint-Lambert is only about 45 minutes from Royal Montreal.
Despite that, he’s trying to not get caught up in the moment.
“It’s cool, but I don’t necessarily think about it,” he said. “I can’t be talking to people and mingling. I have a job to do, so Graham’s my number one priority.”
Trudeau moved to Phoenix when he was 11, so he considers himself a “half-Frenchy.”
However, he’s still Canadian, and realizes what a win for DeLaet would mean.
“This is his fifth major,” Trudeau said.
BACK ON TOP: Jim Furyk found himself at a familiar position at the RBC Canadian Open on Friday – he was atop the leaderboard.
Although Furyk hasn’t won on TOUR since 2010 – the year he won three times and captured the FedExCup - two of his 16 PGA TOUR victories have come north of the boarder. Through two rounds, he’s threatening to make it three.
Even though he and his playing partners combined for 22 birdies on the day, the 44-year-old isn’t thinking that far ahead.
“It’s even farther away than I’d really even want to think about. I’ve had a lot of success here, so I’ve got some good feelings and really a lot of support here,” he said.
“We’re only at the halfway point, so I’m not really thinking about winning golf tournaments, I’m just trying to stay patient.”
Furyk will go off with first round co-leader Tim Petrovic in the final pairing Saturday.
Jim Furyk birdies fourth consecutive on No. 14 at RBC Canadian
KIDS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN: As Taylor Pendrith woke up Thursday morning, he certainly didn’t think that at the end of the day he’d have microphones from every media outlet at the RBC Canadian Open stuck in his face.
But, that’s what happens when you’re a 21-year-old amateur and you shoot 5-under, to be in a tie for third.
Friday, though, was a different story.
Pendrith shot a 5-over 75, 10 shots worse than the day prior. But that, as they say, is golf.
“I played awesome yesterday, so I didn’t see why I couldn’t do it again,” Pendrith explained after his round. “It was disappointing, but I competed and I grinded it out.”
Pendrith had an up-and-down start to the day, making three bogeys in the first five holes. He was steady until the par-5 6th (his 15th of the day) where he made double-bogey.
Despite his round, he still made the cut, becoming the lone Canadian amateur to do so. He said that wasn’t his goal at the beginning of the week though.
“I wanted to play well and compete. It’s just like any other tournament. If you play well, you’ll be right there and if you play bad you’ll miss the cut. I had one of each kind of round.”
As for the next two rounds, Pendrith has a new goal: “I just want to see how low I can shoot.”
Kids these days.
Click on the photo below to see all the best images from Friday's second round.
“These guys are playing for money, and I’m just having fun.” ~Taylor Pendrith after his second-round 75, 10 shots higher than Thursday
“I know, if you play good, they show you. I think they picked some raspberries yesterday, so they had a great time.” ~Tim Petrovic on how his family’s vacation is going without him
“To make birdies, typically you’ve got to roll the pill well.” ~ Graeme McDowell on his three back-nine birdies
“I was giving Kuch a bunch of crap about being the schlub of the group shooting a 65. Lord knows I’ve taken abuse from him over the years, so it’s nice to get one back.” ~ Jim Furyk after he and Graham DeLaet shot 63, while Matt Kuchar shot 65
“It was unreal.” ~ Graham DeLaet on his group’s performance today
ODDS & ENDS
Jim Furyk and Graham DeLaet matched the course record (63) set by fellow Canadian David Morland IV and Scott Verplank at the 2001 RBC Canadian Open (also in the second round)…
Graham DeLaet looks to become the first Canadian to win the RBC Canadian Open since 1954; he’s the highest a Canadian has been after two rounds since Mike Weir was in the lead in 2004…
DeLaet also leads the field in birdies (13)…
Royal Montreal is North America’s first official golf club…
Taylor Pendrith is the fifth Canadian amateur since 2006 to make the cut at the Canadian Open, but the first since 2012 (Albin Choi)…
Kyle Stanley is last on TOUR in strokes gained-putting (192nd) but this week he’s 10th...
Camilo Villegas withdrew during the second round with a wrist injury. Richard H. Lee also withdrew…
Jim Furyk is projected to move to third in the FedExCup standings with a victory…
Furyk also leads the field in greens in regulation at nearly 92 percent...
In 2001, the cut was 1 over at Royal Montreal. It never got that high this year, and the cut was made at even par where 75 players made it to the weekend…
Jim Furyk and Tim Petrovic share 36-hole lead at RBC Canadian