• Canadian Open

McDowell moves into contention in Montreal

ESPN staff
July 26, 2014
Graeme McDowell is hoping to build on a solid performance at last week's Open Championship © Getty Images

Graeme McDowell moved into contention at the Canadian Open with a faultless round of 65 on Friday but remains three shots off the lead after Jim Furyk birdied two of his last four holes to tie Tim Petrovic at the top of the leaderboard.

McDowell, 34, finished tied for ninth at last week's Open Championship and carded four birdies before the turn at Royal Montreal in recording a bogey-free round to move into a tie for fifth.

"To make birdies you have to roll the ball well and I did that today," McDowell said.

"The greens were really nice this morning. They were receptive and you could be aggressive with your iron play. On the last nine holes I gave myself a ton of chances but couldn't get the thing in the hole.

"I'm just happy to have positioned myself in the mix here. There are 36 holes left and it's just where I want to be."

McDowell is one of two Europeans, alongside Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, in the top ten on an otherwise American heavy leaderboard. Furyk, who won the event in 2006 and 2007, equalled the course record of 63 during his second round to match Petrovic on 10-under par.

Amazingly, his playing partner, Graham DeLaet, matched Furyk's exploits as the pair both embarked on a birdie frenzy having started on the 10th hole. After his round of seven-under and a place in the course's history books, DeLaet - the home favourite - is in a tie for second, two shots off the pace.

Matt Kuchar, who completed the three-ball, is also in the mix after shooting a 65. "I don't know if I've ever played in a group where we shot 63, 63, 65. I was giving 'Kuch' a bunch of crap for being the schlub in the group, shooting a 65," Furyk said.

Pat Fletcher, born in England, was the last Canadian winner, taking the 1954 event at Point Grey in Vancouver. Carl Keffer is the only Canadian-born champion, winning in 1909 and 1914.

"To share a course record here is pretty special and to have two guys in one group do it is pretty amazing"," DeLaet said.

Furyk, coming off a fourth-placed finish in the Open, last won on the PGA Tour in 2010. England's Luke Donald, meanwhile, was among a couple of big name players to miss the cut. Dustin Johnson, Hunter Mahan and South African Trevor Immelman also failed to secure their places for the weekend.

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