Toronto’s Richard Jung hopes to turn heads and gain fans at RBC Canadian Open

ANCASTER, Ont. — Richard Jung is well aware that he’s not a particularly well known golfer, even in his native Canada.

He hopes to change that this week at the RBC Canadian Open.

The 25-year-old from Toronto has spent most of his season playing in Asia, winning the Beijing Open on May 12. He made the cut at the Canadian Open on Friday after tying for 33rd at 4 under after two rounds.

Paired with Tour winner Michael Gligic of Burlington, Ont., few people were cheering for Jung compared to his higher-profile fellow Canadian.

“No one was rooting for me. When we walked down the fairway there were calls of ‘Go Michael! Go Michael!”’ said Jung.

Jung added with a laugh. “Some holes I’d hit it closer to the pin than Michael but no ‘Richard,’ y’know?”

“I just find it a little funny but it’s probably because I spend a lot of time in Asia. They don’t know who I am but now they will so hopefully they start rooting for me.”

Jung had a 67-69 start to the tournament to make the cut in his second appearance at a Canadian Open. He missed the cut in 2015 at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ont.

He thinks his success at this year’s edition of the national championship is thanks to the similarities between the course at Hamilton Golf and Country Club and the Japanese tour.

“All golf courses over there, it’s position golf,” said Jung. “It’s strategy, you can’t really hit drivers. I would like to hit driver everywhere, but you’ve just got to play the golf course.”

The Japanese style of play — not to mention this year’s Canadian Open — presents the big-hitting Jung with a challenge as his instinct is to always overpower a course.

But veteran golfer Y.E. Yang, who won the PGA Championship in 2009, told Jung last week to try to rein it in and wait to attack.

“From my perspective I think I can attack everything. If I get a tee shot down there it’ll be a wedge,” said Jung. “But Y.E. Yang gave me some good advice last week. He told me just play par golf out there for now, when you have a good run that’s when you go for those.

“That’s what I’m trying to focus on this week. I’ve had some bad holes but so far, so good.”

Jung was one of six Canadians to make the cut.

Nick Taylor of Abbotsford, B.C., was low Canadian, firing a 5-under 65 to finish tied for third, a shot back of co-leaders Scott Brown and Matt Kuchar.

Adam Hadwin, also from Abbotsford, was in sole possession of sixth at 9 under. Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., had a 4-under day and Ben Silverman of Thornhill, Ont., fired a 9-under 61 as both tied for seventh at 8 under.

Roger Sloan of Merritt, B.C., was tied for 55th at 2 under, just above the 1 under cutline.

A Canadian has not won the national championship since Pat Fletcher did it in 1954.

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