OAKVILLE, Ont. — There have been four holes-in-one, two extended delays and a whole lot of rain during a couple of crazy days at the RBC Canadian Open.
Imagine what else might happen if they actually get to play a good stretch of golf over the weekend.
That remains in doubt with ominous weather forecasts and more than half the field still not having hit a shot in the second round. The writing was clearly on the wall for the nine players who withdrew after the horn abruptly ended play just before another downpour on Friday night.
Tournament officials are trying to remain optimistic.
“Our goal is to play 72 holes by the end of the day on Sunday,” said Steve Carman, the PGA Tour’s tournament director. “All our planning and calculations are based on that goal.”
Jerry Kelly will have a one-shot lead over Martin Laird, Tim Herron, Camilo Villegas and Nathan Green when play resumes early Saturday morning. He was 11 under with three holes to play in his second round.
Overnight leader Kevin Na didn’t hit a single shot on Friday and was two strokes back along with Bob Estes.
The 42-year-old Kelly hasn’t traditionally played well at Glen Abbey, but he’s in the midst of a solid season that already includes a victory in New Orleans. He took advantage of soft conditions that left the course prime for scoring.
“You can get after it,” said Kelly.
Calgary’s Stephen Ames also made a move up the leaderboard and was four shots back of Kelly with three holes to play in his second round. He was in the best position of the Canadians in the field after finishing up a first-round 68 on Friday morning and going 3 under through 15 holes in the afternoon.
When the horn sounded to stop play, he was visibly frustrated.
“It’s difficult,” said Ames. “I’m a momentum player and stop-go, stop-go is tough mentally. But I’ve been doing it. Three holes to go, I’ll see what I can do.”
While the players scrambled to leave the property on Friday night, course workers flooded onto the fairways and began trying to drain as much water as possible.
Roughly 60 millimetres of rain has fallen since Thursday morning. The course won’t be able to handle much more.
“If we get any rain during the day tomorrow, we’re at what they call field capacity,” said Carman. “The sponge is full of water.”
The leaderboard is difficult to handicap because so little golf has been played.
Villegas is the top-ranked player in the field at No. 13 in the world and was the hottest player on the course Friday morning, chipping in for eagle at the 18th hole to finish off a first-round 63.
“What a great way to finish the round,” he said.
The Colombian might end up being the man to beat at the US$5.1-million event, which features a field with just six of the top 30 players in the world. That group includes popular Canadian lefty Mike Weir, who opened with a 1-under 71 on Thursday and didn’t get on the course Friday.
The players chasing Kelly come from around the globe.
Green is an Australian who once played the Canadian Tour and has contended at this event in the past. He wasn’t surprised to be scoring well here again.
“You always play well in places you love to be,” said Green.