Chad Campbell shoots 63 to take Canadian Open lead

Chad Campbell
Chad Campbell hits off the eighth tee during second round play at the Canadian Open golf tournament in Oakville, Ontario, Friday, July 24, 2015.(Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)

OAKVILLE, Ontario (AP) — Chad Campbell was perfectly content to take a two-stroke lead into the weekend at the Canadian Open after falling a stroke short of the course record.

“Never really felt like it was going to be a crazy round,” the 41-year-old Texan said after shooting a 9-under 63 on Friday at Glen Abbey. “I’m definitely happy with it. Just solid play.”

Campbell birdied all four par 5s in his bogey-free round to reach 14-under 130. He won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2007.

“It’s kind of weird because it happened with the par 5s, knocking them on in two and two-putting,” Campbell said. “I made a couple long putts, which always helps.”

Greg Norman set the course record of 62 in 1986 and John Merrick matched it in 2013.

Brian Harman was second. He followed his opening 65 with a 67.

Canada’s David Hearn was tied for third at 11 under after a 64.

“I felt really good about my game,” said Hearn, from Brantford. “I hit a lot more greens and my putter definitely got hot. Making those two birdies at the finish felt really, really good.”

Hearn is trying to become the first Canadian to win the event since Pat Fletcher, born in England, in 1954 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.

“If I continue to keep playing the way I am, I know I have a chance,” Hearn said. “I can’t control what Chad or any of the other players are going to do. But if I keep doing what I’m doing and stay focused on that, I like my chances.”

Johnson Wagner also was 11 under after a 66. Jason Day, coming off a tie for fourth Monday in the British Open, was another stroke back after a 66.

“I’m driving it great,” Day said. “I’d like to tuneup the iron shots, but overall I’m hitting it good. “Biggest thing for me is still trying to get as much rest as possible, especially coming off last week so that I can stay mentally sharp.”

Bubba Watson, two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton and Eric Axley were 9 under. Watson had a 67, Compton shot 69, and Axley 68.

Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo, the first-round leader after a 64, had a 72 to drop into a tie for ninth at 8 under.

Ricky Barnes had a hole-in-one on No. 4, winning a car in the process.

“It was a perfect 8-iron,” said Barnes, 6 under after a 70. “I think the yardage was 165 into a little breeze, and it just landed right in the hole and never came out.”

South Africa’s Tim Clark, the winner last year at Royal Montreal, was 5 under after a 67.

Former Georgia Tech player Ollie Schniederjans made the cut in his pro debut, shooting 71-69 to move into a tie for 44th at 4 under. He tied for 12th in the British Open.

Robert Allenby withdrew after firing caddie Mick Middlemo during his opening 81. Local school principal Tom Fraser carried the 44-year-old Australian’s bag the final nine holes Thursday.

In January, Allenby was robbed and beaten in a bizarre saga after missing the cut in the Sony Open. Late last month, a Hawaii man pleaded guilty to using Allenby’s credit cards.

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