OAKVILLE, Ontario (Reuters) - Chad Campbell claimed the halfway lead at the RBC Canadian Open with a near course-record performance on Friday. The American, winless on the PGA Tour since 2007, missed a six-foot birdie putt on his closing hole for a nine-under 63 to tie the Glen Abbey course record set by Leonard Thompson in 1981 and matched by Andy Bean in 1983 and Greg Norman in 1986.
The bogey free round pushed the Texan’s 36-hole total to 14-under, two shots in front of American Brian Harman and three shots ahead of Canadian David Hearn and American Johnson Wagner.
Australian Jason Day was fifth at 10-under after a 66, while two-time Masters champ Bubba Watson played himself into the picture with a 67. He sits in a three-way tie at nine-under with fellow Americans Erik Compton and Eric Axley.
“I played solid all day,” Campbell said. “I was able to make some putts and made a couple long ones out there. So that’s always nice. The course is playing really fast. You can get opportunities if you get the ball on the fairway, and the par-5s are reachable.”
Campbell made birdies at each of Glen Abbey’s four par-5s, including three two-putt birdies.
The four-time PGA Tour winner has only had three top-10 showings in the last three years. He has dropped to 261st in the world rankings.
“I’ve been a little better this year than the last couple years,” said Campbell, who lost in a three-way playoff to eventual winner Angel Cabrera and Kenny Perry at the 2009 Masters.
“It’s been a struggle the last few years, so I definitely feel like I’m heading in the right direction with a little better play.”
Harman was good for a five-under 67 on Friday, while Hearn enjoyed a fine 64 in front of the partisan crowd. Wagner carded a six-under 66.
“It will be pretty busy tomorrow having a late tee time,” said Hearn, who is trying to become the first Canadian to win the tournament since Pat Fletcher in 1954.
Editing by Gene Cherry