McGirt, Piercy top Canadian Open leaderboard
ANCASTER, Ontario — Scott Piercy is discovering that not everything you dislike is bad for you.
After two rounds in the Canadian Open, Piercy had a share of the lead with William McGirt — and had seen just about enough of Hamilton Golf and Country Club.
"This golf course takes the juices out of it for me," Piercy said Friday after following his opening 8-under 62 with a 67.
McGirt had a 66 on the classic Harry S. Colt-designed course, and the leaders matched the tournament 36-hole scoring record at 11-under 129.
Robert Garrigus was two strokes back after a 66, and Bo Van Pelt was 9 under after a 66. Tim Clark, Vijay Singh and Josh Teater were 8 under. Clark had a 62, Singh shot 67, and Teater 65.
Bud Cauley had a 63 to join Troy Matteson and Camilo Villegas at 7 under. Villegas had a 64, and Matteson shot 68.
British Open champion Ernie Els missed the cut with rounds of 72 and 70.
"It's unfortunate I didn't have my game with me," Els said. "There's always next time."
The tight, tree-lined layout demands precision and often forces players to play it safe.
"This golf is boring golf for me," said Piercy, the Reno-Tahoe Open winner last year for his lone PGA Tour title. "I'm not going for it. I'm not trying to put my foot on the accelerator. I'm kind of touch and go."
McGirt was in much better spirits after a round that included a 50-foot birdie putt from the fringe on No. 8. He's winless on the PGA Tour, and cautious about getting too far ahead of himself.
"There are still 36 holes left," McGirt said. "There is a lot of golf left."
Van Pelt sent up a roar when he holed out from 143 yards for eagle on No. 9 — his last hole of the day. Clark reeled off six birdies and added a holed-out eagle of his own to match the course record with the 62.
"It was obviously a great day for me," Clark said. "I'm excited. It is nice to be back up in Canada. I have some good memories up here. The course suits me well, too, and I've enjoyed playing."
Rain left the greens soft and receptive, and gave players the opportunity to lift, clean and place their golf balls in the fairway for both rounds. With more rain expected early Saturday, a compressed third round will be played with threesomes going off both tees.
Five of the 23 Canadian players survived the cut, led by David Hearn. He was seven strokes back after his second straight 68.
"I was steady again today. I just didn't make quite as many birdies as I would have liked," Hearn said. "I'm certainly not out of reach for this tournament — guys are shooting 62s and 63s. If I was to get hot tomorrow and put one of those in, you never know what'll happen."
Slumping Canadian Mike Weir missed the cut for the third straight year, shooting consecutive 72s.
Pat Fletcher, born in England, was the last Canadian winner, taking the 1954 event at Point Grey in Vancouver. Carl Keffer is the only Canadian-born champion, winning in 1909 and 1914. Albert Murray, a Canadian also born in England, won in 1908 and 1913.
Jim Furyk, the winner in 2006 at Hamilton and 2007 at Angus Glen, also missed the cut. He shot 70-70 to fall a stroke short of advancing to weekend play.