OAKVILLE, Ont. — Dustin Johnson figures he has hockey nice Wayne Gretzky to thank for his reputation.
Or not less than that’s how he defined it on the RBC Canadian Open on Saturday.
Enthusiastic golf followers lined up 4 or 5 deep to catch a glimpse of the world No. 1 as he made his means round Glen Abbey in spectacular vogue, firing a 7-under 65 to get to 17 underneath and right into a four-way tie for the lead.
“Properly, I can thank Wayne for that,” Johnson stated of the fan help he received on a breezy and typically wet day on the 7,253-yard, par-72 course designed by Jack Nicklaus.
“There’s a number of Gretzky followers on the market, and they also have a tendency to tug for me. Thanks, Wayne, I respect that. I do get a number of love up right here, and the followers have been nice this week.”
Johnson is engaged to the Nice One’s daughter, Paulina, and has youngsters together with her, and Canadians have just about adopted him as one in all their very own.
Two South Koreans, Byeong Hun An (66) and Whee Kim (67), and second-round chief Kevin Tway, who fired a 68, are tied with Johnson atop the leaderboard.
Tway, whose father, Bob, received this occasion in 2003, completed sturdy with three birdies in his remaining 4 holes.
“It was slightly battle in the beginning, possibly slightly nerves. Wasn’t swinging as effectively. However form of stayed affected person and had a great end, so I’m nonetheless proper there, and I’ll give it my greatest shot tomorrow,” stated Tway, who has but to win on the PGA Tour.
Johnson was enjoying his third spherical with Abbotsford, B.C., native Nick Taylor. And it was exhausting to inform who was the extra widespread of the 2.
Taylor, who shot even-par 72 and sits at 9-under, good for a T29, stated he has by no means skilled a Canadian Open gallery just like the one he performed in entrance of on Saturday.
“There might need been extra DJ followers than Canadian followers, however it was nonetheless enjoyable. They have been pulling for each of us,” Taylor stated.
Johnson, who’s a two-time runner-up at this match, in 2016 and 2013, and can be sponsored by RBC, stated there’s slightly additional motivation to get a win right here in what is likely to be the ultimate Canadian Open held at Glen Abbey.
“I need to win simply because I prefer to win golf tournaments,” stated the long-hitting Johnson. “However yeah, I imply, it’s the final time the match goes to be right here. I’m an RBC ambassador. So it could imply so much to get it accomplished tomorrow, particularly how I completed second right here twice.”
Johnson burst out of the gates with three consecutive birdies and 5 in his first six holes and it regarded as if he may simply run away with this factor.
He stored a clear card on the entrance 9 with some good up-and-downs, particularly on the ninth inexperienced when he needed to cope with a tough lie.
“I imply, positively received off to a very nice begin and made a pair good par saves in there, too,” he stated.
However Johnson found the par-Four 10th the place he hit his driver into the appropriate tough and needed to lay up along with his second shot. He then hit a pleasant flop shot over bunkers and had a makeable par putt however it rimmed out for a bogey.
Three holes later he bogeyed once more when he laid up on the par-5, 13th after which had his third shot come up means in need of the pin.
“I did hit form of a poor wedge shot there from the golf green,” stated Johnson, who has one win and eight top-10s this season. “However I nonetheless had a five- or six-footer for par, hit a great putt, it simply lipped out. So I by no means actually received pissed off.”
That paid off for Johnson as he went birdie, birdie, eagle over his subsequent three holes and closed out with two pars.
Johnson, fellow American Tyler Duncan, and Mexican Abraham Ancer tied for low spherical of the day however none of them had a couple of eagle on the reachable par-5s.
Johnson says it’s one thing he’ll have to enhance on Sunday if he needs to take house the trophy.
“Tomorrow I must play the par-5s slightly higher. I haven’t actually performed them that effectively this week,” he stated.
American Hudson Swafford (67) charged up the leaderboard 10 spots and right into a T5 with South African Rory Sabbatini (68) at 13 underneath.
A gaggle of six gamers, together with first-round chief Robert Garrigus (69), have been at 12-under par.
Garrigus flew out of the gate with a birdie and eagle on his first two holes to get to 12-under however then dropped a stroke on the par-Three fourth. He additionally dropped one on the ninth and picked up a double bogey on the par-Four 11th.
Garrigus and Rory Sabbatini (68), who’s at 13-under, have been the one gamers among the many high of the leaderboard who had a couple of eagle on their card.
Garrigus stated after the primary spherical on Thursday that minus-20 is likely to be the rating to beat this week, and it seems he may simply be proper.
“There’s positively low numbers out right here,” Johnson stated. “There’s a number of guys which might be proper across the lead, and any individual goes to go shoot low. Hopefully it’s me.”
American Jamie Lovemark confronted a frightening shot on the 18th gap at Glen Abbey on Saturday.
Lovemark drilled his second shot from out of the ‘Tiger Woods’ fairway bunker and over the inexperienced. The ball cleared the bunkers and ended up within the grandstand after bouncing off the cart path.
Lovemark was given a drop however had a really difficult third shot again over the bunkers to a decent pin tucked within the front-left fringe of the inexperienced with the pond lurking in behind.
Lovemark opted to hit his third into the bunker and attempt to stand up and down from there somewhat than threat going within the water. He hit a pleasant bunker shot however missed a six-footer and needed to accept bogey and a 66 that received him to 10-under and right into a tie for 21st place.
“About two seconds,” Lovemark stated when requested how lengthy it took him to determine to enter the bunker somewhat than going on the pin. “Form of a foul break with the cart path. However, yeah, only a unhealthy method to end, actually. It’s going to value me not less than two pictures, possibly two and a half.”