Gary Woodland flirts with course record, settles for 63 at Canadian Open

Topekan charges into tie for second by tying best score of PGA career

Gary Woodland, of the United States, hits his tee shot on the seventh hole during the Canadian Open on Friday at the Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ontario. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

OAKVILLE, Ontario — A course record was within reach.


So too was a personal best for Gary Woodland on the PGA Tour.

Yet Topeka’s touring pro was chided a bit Friday for falling short of the record for consecutive birdies in a PGA round after his blistering performance at the RBC Canadian Open.

Woodland carded six straight while firing a 9-under 63 at Glen Abbey, then was asked by media covering the event if he was aware of the Tour record.

When informed it was nine, by Mark Calcavecchia on the same course in 2009, Woodland poked fun at himself.

“I’m a long way off,’’ he said. “I’ve got some work to do.’’

If he continues to strike the golf ball as well as he did in the second round, that work should be simplified.

The second round score tied Woodland’s personal best and was just one shot off the Glen Abbey course record.

Woodland moved into a tie for second place at 11-under, one shot behind leader Martin Flores, an American who shot 66 in each of his first two rounds. Matt Every shares second with Woodland.

The longest putt Woodland made Friday was slightly more than 12 feet. He followed his only bogey, on the par-4 14th, with a run of six consecutive birdies after beginning his round on No. 10.

“I just had everything clicking,’’ Woodland said. “I’ve been playing well for a long time and just haven’t put all the aspects together. Today I drove it well. Obviously the ball-striking was good and I saw some putts go in, and that adds up to a pretty good number.’’

After recording his final birdie on the par-3 seventh hole, Woodland was truly flirting with the course record of 62 first set by Greg Norman in 1986.

Woodland lipped out a chip from just off the green on No. 8 and then narrowly missed a putt from the fringe on No. 9, recording pars on each hole.

“I didn’t know about the course record,’’ said Woodland, the former Shawnee Heights and Kansas standout.

“Obviously it would have been nice to get one more to go in. I played good all day. I really played good (Thursday). I felt like I left a lot out there then. It was a little frustrating. But coming out today and really firing on all cylinders was nice.’’

A week ago, Woodland tied for 70th at the British Open. The cut he made Friday was his seventh straight, though his top finish in the previous six events was a tie for 40th at the AT&T Byron Nelson. Woodland’s last top-10 finish was a tie for second at the Honda Open in February.

“It’s been coming together for a while. We just haven’t done it,’’ Woodland said. “Obviously I’m in a good state mentally with a little baby at home, so that was a big relief off the back. So now I’m able to go out and play freely, and starting to come together.’’

In addition to driving the ball well in the second round, Woodland said he attacked the course more aggressively.

“(Thursday) I feel like I played pretty good, I just didn’t attack the par-5s, which out here you have to do,’’ he said.

“You have four par-5s and with my length, I can get home to all of them. Today I drove it in play on all those holes and was hitting mid-irons into the par-5s, and that gives you confidence when you can walk away from those with birdies.’’



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