By David McPherson, Special to PGATOUR.COM
OAKVILLE, Ontario -- A course record equaled early – and a barrage of birdies late – sums up Friday’s second round at the RBC Canadian Open.
John Merrick set the tone in the morning by shooting a 10-under 62 to tie Glen Abbey’s tournament record held by Greg Norman. The 31-year-old from California was right on the projected cut line to start the day, but said that making the weekend never crossed his mind.
“Well, it wasn’t that bad,” Merrick said of his career low competitive round. “It didn’t feel like 62 at all. It felt like – you never know. But, a couple things clicked and I got off to a good start. I made that putt on the last hole and asked my caddie, ‘was that 10-under?’ He was like, ‘I think so.’ I was just trying to keep making birdies and not quite think about what I was doing.”
Not thinking too much about what he was Hunter Mahan’s game plan. It worked. He had the low round of the afternoon – shooting an 8-under 64 that included three straight birdies to close - to take a two-shot lead over Merrick heading into the weekend.
“I just played free,” Mahan said. “That's how I think I was able to birdie the last three, because I just kind of kept my head up and kept going. I wasn’t really thinking about finishing strong or anything, I was just trying to finish that hole and stay in the present as much as I could and not get too caught up in the leaderboard or anything else.”