Martin Flores is the kind of golfer who likes to attack a golf course. Get after every hole, take chances. The unusually soft greens and fairways at Glen Abbey Golf Course are playing right to that instinct.
Flores shot a six-under 66 on Friday for a 12-under lead through two rounds at the RBC Canadian Open, taking advantage of a playing style he honed on the Web.com Tour last season.
"Playing on the Web last year was a little refreshing in that you have to shoot so low. So no matter if you're in the lead or if you're chasing, it's always – you're always attacking. You're always trying to make birdies," said Flores after his morning round on the rain-softened fairways and greens. "That's kind of a similar situation with how the rain has been this week. You just have to keep attacking."
A rainy summer and a thunderstorm that delayed play during Thursday's first round left the normally firm Glen Abbey soft, with some of the low ground still muddy by Friday night. That just plays to Flores's strengths.
"The course is perfect," he said. "But it is a little soft right now, especially coming into the greens as compared to previous years. So the birdies are going to be out there for sure. Unless the wind picks up, but I think it's very gettable."
Flores wasn't the only one enjoying the conditions. Gary Woodland nearly tied the course record with a nine-under 63 to share second place with Matt Every (68) at 11 under and challenge Flores's lead.
"I just had everything clicking today," said Woodland, who wasn't aware of Leonard Thompson's record 62 from 1981 until after his round was done. "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.
Every started the day in a five-way tie atop the leaderboard with Ollie Schniederjans, Hudson Swafford, Brandon Hagy and Kevin Chappell. Every continued to play well after declaring on Thursday night "I didn't plan on sucking for the rest of my life," as the other four fell back on the leaderboard.
On Friday, Every added: "Normally I struggle off the tee. But it's been pretty good off the tee the last few weeks. I just haven't made anything. I got a new putter this week, and it's kind of a placebo effect probably. I'll make my putts for a couple weeks and then start putting bad again probably."
Matt Kuchar, who struggled with dizzy spells during the first round, shot a 68 to finish the day in a tie for 46th at five under.
Graham DeLaet (68) of Weyburn, Sask., and Mackenzie Hughes (69) of Dundas, Ont., tied at eight-under, good for 14th. They were the only Canadians left after the projected cutline of four-under par, which eliminated the other 15 Canadians in the field.
"I wish there were 17 Canadians eight-under or better," Hughes said. "It would have been really fun to get a bunch of guys in the mix, but yeah, it's nice to have Graham in there and not to be the Lone Ranger going out there on the weekend."
Nick Taylor (72) of Abbotsford, B.C., David Hearn (72) of Brantford, Ont., Bryn Parry (71) of North Vancouver, B.C., and amateur Hugo Bernard (70) of Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Que., were tied at three-under. Amateur Austin James (72) of Bath, Ont., was one under.
Adam Hadwin (69), also from Abbotsford, missed the cut after finishing at even par. The highest rated Canadian golfer on the FedExCup standings, Hadwin was expected to challenge at the Canadian Open.
Mike Weir (73) of Brights Grove, Ont., Toronto's Daniel Kim (72), Riley Wheeldon (72) of Comox, B.C., Matt Hill (76) of Sarnia, Ont., Vancouver's Ryan Williams (77), Ottawa's Brad Fritsch (75), Jared Du Toit (79) of Kimberley, B.C., and amateur Garrett Rank (81) of Elmira, Ont., also missed the cut.
Also Friday, a Golf Canada spokesperson confirmed that Brent McLaughlin is no longer acting as tournament director at the Canadian Open. The spokesperson clarified that McLaughlin had left Glen Abbey Golf Club and would not be acting in his current role for the weekend.
A previous statement said that McLaughlin was suspended.
No further explanation was given beyond it being an internal employee matter.
A news conference with Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum is scheduled for Saturday morning.
McLaughlin also serves as the tournament director for the CP Women's Open, which will be at the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club from Aug. 24-27. It's not yet known if he will serve as tournament director for the LPGA event as well.