SURREY, British Columbia -- Craig Barlow isn't going to let the pressure of leading the Air Canada Championship get to him. It's the adrenaline that comes with it that he's worried about.
Barlow followed up an opening-round 67 with a 7-under-par 65 on Friday to take sole possession of the lead after 36 holes.
"It's learning how to control your adrenaline that I'm having a problem with," said Barlow, who had the 54-hole lead at The International in early August, but faded and finished tied for seventh.
"In the past, every chance I've had to win, I started hitting my irons way too far," Barlow said. "I would like to think that going into the weekend that I'll be aware of that and I'll have to pay attention to my adrenaline."
That extra energy hurt Barlow on his final hole Friday. He actually got to 11 under before blowing a 3-wood through the fairway on the 430-yard, par-4 18th and settling for a bogey.
Despite dropping the late stroke, the 30-year-old Nevada native is happy to see his patience paying off after enduring a pair of late-season surgeries last year and missing more cuts than he made so far this year.
"Yes, it's been frustrating, but I promised myself through this whole thing that I was going to be patient, said Barlow, who had a hip operation last September, shoulder surgery two months later and has missed eight of 15 cuts since.
"I knew it was going to be a long road and I just tried to stay patient and trust in my abilities," he said. "I'm starting to see the result of that."
Australian Robert Allenby, coming off a tie for second at the NEC Invitational last week outside Seattle, shot a bogey-free 9-under 62 on the 7,069-yard Northview Golf and Country Club course to leave him one shot off the lead.
Allenby's playing partner David Gossett and fellow Australian Peter Lonard are both also one shot back at 9-under 133.
For Allenby, who had to bounce back from an even-par start Thursday, the 62 was a new professional-best round and also came within a stroke of the course record.
"I'm disappointed I didn't get the course record today because it actually would have been three weeks in a row," said Allenby, who set the mark at Sahalee with a 63 last week and grabbed a share of the Hazeltine record with a 66 during the PGA Championship two weeks ago. "I was wondering what the course record is. I wish someone would have told me."
One record was set Friday. Stan Utley, a 40-year-old Tour veteran whose last win came in 1989, made six putts on the front nine to set a new standard on Tour, but he was only 1-under par when he made the turn.
"To be honest you have to hit it really bad," said Utley, who chipped in once from 30 feet, holed two bunker shots and one-putted six times.
Utley added 14 more putts on the back nine to finish with 20 total in his second round, two more than the 18-hole record. He finished at 7-over 149 and missed the cut.
The threesome of Allenby, Gossett and Steve Lowery were a combined 18 under for the day - and that's after Lowery bogeyed the final two holes to finish with his second straight 67.
"It was one of those days where we all played well at the start," said Allenby, who had five birdies on the front nine and four more on the back. "Both of them started at 4 under and I was just trying to catch them. I caught them, overtook them and stayed with them.
The late bogeys left Lowery tied with Gene Sauers and Kevin Sutherland at 8 under, two shots off the lead. Four more players are at 7 under.
Even with Lowery's late lapse, his trio finished a combined 26-under after two days together.
"That's some good golf," said Gossett, who shot 66 Friday to end a streak of three straight missed cuts. "Robert got off to a quick start. I was just trying to keep up with those guys."
Divots: Lonard, a 35-year-old Australian and rookie-of-the-year candidate, made his 20th straight cut, joining Tiger Woods and Padraig Harrington as the only three players to make every cut this year. Woods made his first 25 cuts after joining the PGA Tour. ... Japanese star Shigeki Maruyama was four shots off the lead despite finding out Wednesday that his longtime coach died suddenly in Japan. ... The course record of 61 was set by Scott McCarron in the fourth round of the 1999 tournament. ... First-round leader David Frost shot a 72 to fall five shots off the pace. ... Brent Geiberger withdrew after nine holes with a bad back.
© 2017. All Rights Reserved. | Contact Us