A surprise winner on the PGA Tour earlier this season, John Merrick took the lead early in the second round of the RBC Canadian Open, tying the course record at Glen Abbey Golf Club with a 10-under 62.
Merrick sparked his round with an eagle on the par-5 second hole, but did not record his first birdie of the day until the par-3 seventh. From there, though, Merrick had no trouble finding red numbers; he notched birdies on eight of his final twelve holes, including a pair of birdies on Nos. 17-18 to card a bogey-free 62. At 11-under 133, he held a three-shot lead upon the conclusion of his second round with the afternoon wave still yet to complete play in Oakville, Ontario.
Friday's effort was the lowest round of 2013 for Merrick, whose previous best was a 65 at TPC River Highlands in the first round of the Travelers Championship. The 31-year-old now shares the course record with Greg Norman, who shot 62 at Glen Abbey in 1986.
Following his breakthrough win in February at the Northern Trust Open, Merrick has struggled to produce similar results across the balance of his 2013 campaign. In 12 starts since outlasting Charlie Beljan in a playoff at Riviera Country Club, Merrick has missed five cuts while managing just one top-25 finish, a tie for 22nd at the Wells Fargo Championship. The victory at Riviera still serves as his lone top-10 finish of 2013, and while he earned $1,188,000 for the win, he has accrued just $344,105 in his 16 other starts before this week's event.