Overnight leader Brendan Steele has already been surpassed on the leaderboard thanks to a 10-under 62 by fellow Californian John Merrick.
How will Steele react this afternoon? Here's a closer look at who and what to watch for in the afternoon wave at Glen Abbey (all times ET):
Graham DeLaet, 12:35 p.m.: The highest-ranked Canadian in the field, DeLaet struggled in the opening round despite pristine scoring conditions. He shot even par, which included a triple bogey on the par-4 14th.
Charl Schwartzel, 12:45 p.m.: Two years ago, Schwartzel finished in the top 10 in this tournament, tying for ninth. He also came into this week off a top 20 finish at The Open Championship. Schwartzel struggled Thursday, though, shooting a 1-over 73, leaving him with work to do to make the cut.
Hunter Mahan, 12:55 p.m.: The last two Opens -- the British and the U.S. -- Mahan played in the final pairing on Sunday. He's in good shape here, too, after an opening round 67.
Brendan Steele, 1:05 p.m.: He led after the opening round following a 65 but has posted back-to-back rounds in the 60s just once since February.
Vijay Singh, 1:05 p.m.: The big Fijian has finished over par in each of his last three starts, combing to shoot 16 over in that stretch, but he's in decent position after a 69 Thursday at a tournament he's won before.
For a second straight day, conditions are ideal for scoring at Glen Abbey, and John Merrick is taking advantage of them.
Merrick is 6 under through his first 11 holes with four birdies and an eagle.
The hot start has Merrick tied with overnight leader and fellow Californian Brendan Steele, who doesn't tee off until the afternoon. Merrick is looking for his second win of the season after a victory at Riviera in February.
He's not the only one off to a fast start, though.
Charley Hoffman and Andres Romero are both 3 under in the second round and within one of the lead, while Gary Woodland, another stroke back, is 2 under so far in his round.
Brendan Steele, the leader at the RBC Canadian Open, has one top-10 finish in 20 previous events in 2013.
By David McPherson, Special to PGATOUR.COM
OAKVILLE, Ontario -- A tale of tee times sums up the opening round of the 2013 RBC Canadian Open.
Players who teed off early took advantage of optimal scoring conditions. Many with an afternoon starting time struggled to break par. After lunch, the wind picked up, especially in Glen Abbey’s valley holes — one possible reason for the lack of red numbers in the afternoon.
Brendan Steele, with a 7:50 a.m. tee time, set the pace early. The Californian fired the low round of the day, a 6-under 66.
“Today was probably the most complete round that I’ve had all year, so that was kind of nice,” he said. “I didn’t miss many greens, didn’t hit many shots off line, and I was able to roll a few putts in.”
American Joe Affrunti, who continues to rehabilitate a shoulder injury, was one of the few players in the afternoon wave who rolled in some putts. The 31-year-old, who has only played in three TOUR events this year, made five birdies to go along with one bogey for a 4-under 68.
As far as the Canadians – trying to break the 59-year winless drought in their national open – the low round belonged to Brad Fritsch. He finished his day with three straight birdies to post a 69, three back of Steele.
“I felt like I played really well today,” Fritsch said. “I felt like I drove it great. I think I hit less than 50 percent of the fairways, but I think that’s just the nature of this golf course.
“It looked like I got some horrendous bounces,” added the 35-year-old, whose best finish this season is a T9 at the Farmers Insurance Open. “When I was expecting one way, it went the other, and that led to a little bit of frustration. But I stayed patient.”
When asked about the tougher scoring conditions in the afternoon, Fritsch admitted the wind was a factor that required some extra patience.
“Yeah, it swirled quite a bit, obviously, in the valley which is tough,” he said. “It always does. The greens seemed a little inconsistent speed wise. It’s probably sun versus shade which greens get the most of that.”
Stephen Ames carded a first-round, 2-over 74 at the RBC Canadian Open on Thursday.
By David McPherson, Special to PGATOUR.com
OAKVILLE, Ontario -- The job market for teens these days is tough, but Ryan Ames has a leg up on the competition. He gets to caddie for dad Stephen at the RBC Canadian Open this week.
Most weeks, Ames gets more enjoyment from his family than from his golf game. While the 49-year-old is confident he can still compete on the PGA TOUR, his on-course play this year has been lackluster. Ames, who was tied for low Canadian the last time the event was held at Glen Abbey – and is also the last of his countrymen to win on the TOUR – has missed making the cut the past three tournaments.
This week he hopes having his son looping will change that trend.
“That's my enjoyment right now, and it's a thrill,” said Ames in a media news conference on Tuesday. “He knows a lot about the game and sees a lot in my swing, which is nice.”
Catching up with the affable Ames on the back nine Thursday afternoon offered a glimpse to the camaraderie between father and son. The pair shared many laughs, despite making only one birdie and carding an opening round 74 (+2).
On the 13th hole, the teenage caddie did an admirable job raking the fairway bunker, getting kudos from both father and fans. Ames – always prone to a healthy dose of sarcasm – turned to a Canadian media member standing outside the ropes and deadpanned: “See how you do it!”
During a long wait on the next tee Ryan craved an ice cream. While his dad went to hit his tee shot, he satisfied this wish, buying a frozen treat from the ice-cream cart. A fan asked for his signature and whether if he liked caddying. Ryan replied, “Oh yeah!”
Ames’ wife Jodi, who was standing nearby, laughed at her son’s purchase. “What other caddie do you see eating a popsicle?”
Popsicles, good pay, and spending time with dad as a summer job is tough to beat.