OAKVILLE, Ontario -- The inner peace that Bob Friend first experienced in May in the Byron Nelson Classic returned Friday in the Canadian Open as he handled tough wind and wicked pin placements for a 5-under-par 67 and a one-stroke lead.
Friend, the 34-year-old son of ex-Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Bob Friend, recovered from consecutive bogeys on his back nine to finish two trips around Glen Abbey Golf Club in 8-under 136, one stroke ahead of Billy Andrade.
"The last few days have been good," Friend said. "I've been very relaxed and my mind has been very quiet over the ball. Hopefully, it will continue."
Chris DiMarco and Robert Damron, both looking for their first PGA Tour victory, played without a bogey in the second round and were at 6-under 138. DiMarco made eagle on the par-5 18th for a 7-under 65, the best score of the tournament, while Damron had a 67.
Ernie Els, trying to recover from a lost summer of back problems by getting into the top 30 on the money list, went out in 40 and missed the cut after 5-over 77, his worst round of the year. Els is in jeopardy of missing the Tour Championship for the first time since he joined the PGA Tour in 1994.
"It just did not go my way," he said. "This is tough to swallow. I just wasn't patient enough."
First-round leader Chris Smith followed a 66 with a 77 and was at 143.
It's the first time Friend has led a tournament at the halfway point, although he has a history of dramatic finishes. The only reason he's on tour is because he shot a 63 on the final day of Q-school to just make the cutoff.
The United States finished with a 5 1/2 -4 1/2 advantage in Friday's singles matches in Colorado Springs, Colo., beat Great Britain & Ireland 17-9 to win The PGA Cup Matches for the seventh straight time.
Mike Burke Jr., of Towaco, N.J., won his singles match Friday and Bob Gaus, of St. Louis, halved his to finish with 3-0-1 marks and led the U.S. team to the victory in the biannual event of club professionals which is modeled after the Ryder Cup.
Burke defeated Andrew George of England 2 and 1 at the West Course at The Broadmoor and Gaus halved with Paul Wesselingh of England in the match that actually sealed the win for the United States.
The 20th PGA Cup Matches will be at the Celtic Manor in Newport, South Wales in 2000.
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