Mahan fires 64, takes two-shot lead in Canada


Conditions remained ripe for scoring Friday at Glen Abbey Golf Club, as the leaderboard at the RBC Canadian Open was teeming with red numbers during the second round. Here's how things look heading into Saturday's third round, where Hunter Mahan will begin with a two-shot advantage:

Leaderboard: Hunter Mahan (-13), John Merrick (-11), Bubba Watson (-9), Patrick Reed (-8), Aaron Baddeley (-8), Tommy Gainey (-7), Chris Kirk (-7)

What it means: One week after playing his way into the final group at the British Open, Mahan has kept up his strong play north of the border. Though he has yet to win this year, his 2013 campaign has been quietly consistent, with 12 top-25 finishes in 19 starts. He now heads into the third round at Glen Abbey with a chance to further distance himself from the field as he looks to hoist a trophy for the first time since the 2012 Shell Houston Open.

Round of the day: Playing in the morning wave, Merrick closed with a pair of birdies to card a 10-under 62, which tied the course record set in 1986 by Greg Norman. A winner earlier this year at the Northern Trust Open, Merrick began his round with an eagle at the par-5 second hole, adding eight birdies across his final 12 holes to briefly take the lead. As a result, he'll play alongside Mahan in the final pairing Saturday, still looking for his first top-10 finish since winning the playoff at Riviera.

Best of the rest: Mahan has seemingly been on the front page of the leaderboard the entire event thus far, a position he further bolstered with a bogey-free 64 Friday. After a string of three straight birdies on holes 2-4, Mahan added two more red figures before closing his round with another trio of birdies on Nos. 16-18. The round is his lowest score on Tour since he opened the Travelers Championship with a 62 last month at TPC River Highlands.

Biggest disappointment: With the cut falling at 1-under 143, Luke Donald will miss the weekend after taking one too many shots across his opening 36 holes. The Englishman carded a 1-under 71 Friday, highlighted by an eagle at the par-4 fifth hole, but his round also included three bogeys and a double bogey at the par-3 seventh hole. A week after a disappointing result at Muirfield, Donald's even-par 144 total means he will miss the cut for the second time in as many starts.

Main storyline heading into Saturday: All eyes will be on Mahan to begin the third round, one of the more high-profile players in this week's field as he is staked to a two-shot lead. Watson highlights the chase pack with two rounds still to play, though Gainey displayed an ability to go low when needed last year at Sea Island. Crowds in Oakville will likely flock to Mike Weir, who easily made the cut after a 5-under 67 Friday.

Shot of the day: Heading to the par-5 second hole, former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel appeared in danger of missing the cut but changed his fate with a single swing. After his drive left him 176 yards out, Schwartzel struck a 9-iron that improbably found the hole for a rare double eagle. The shot propelled the South African from 1 over to 2 under, and Schwartzel ultimately finished the second round right on the cut line at 1-under 143.

Quote of the day: 'I didn't have a great warm-up session this morning; I wasn't really feeling that great. It was just one of those things, it's a crazy game and everything kind of came together for me today.' - Merrick after matching the course record with a 62.