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McGirt shoots 4-under to join Piercy at top of Canadian Open leaderboard

TORONTO--Scott Piercy maintained a share of the lead Friday after the second round of the Canadian Open while South Africa's Tim Clark matched Piercy's course record from the previous day to move into contention.

William McGirt shot a 4-under 66 to join first-round leader and fellow American Piercy atop the leaderboard at the US$5.2 million Canadian Open. Piercy had a 3-under 67 as he and McGirt reached 11-under 129.

Piercy is trying to keep a relaxed attitude and he likes the way he is playing this week at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club course.

“It's kind of a boring 67 to be honest,” said Piercy, who matched the tournament's 36-hole scoring record. “There was not a lot of excitement like yesterday. Made a putt or two for birdie, made a couple of nice par saves. Really not in a whole lot of trouble most of the day and solid overall.”

Robert Garrigus was two shots back of the leaders after a 66, and Bo Van Pelt was at nine under following a 66.

Clark, of Durban, equaled Piercy's opening round course record with an 8-under 62 on Friday. Clark is tied in fifth with Fijian-Indian Vijay Singh (67) and American Josh Teater (65) at 8-under 132.

Colombia's Camilo Villegas shot a 6-under 64 to join Bud Cauley (63), Troy Matteson (68) at seven under.

British Open champion Ernie Els improved on his first round performance but still missed the cut with 70.

“It's unfortunate I didn't have my game with me,” Els said. “There's always next time.”

Former Masters champ Mike Weir also missed the cut with his second consecutive round of 72.

David Hearn shot a 2-under 68 and is the top Canadian at 4-under 136 in the event which serves as the national championship. Five of the 23 Canadian players survived the cut.

It marked the third consecutive year, slumping Canadian veteran Weir has missed the cut.

Piercy parred his first three holes on the back nine. He birdied the 13th then poured in a 22-foot putt on 16 to reach 11-under.

“I'm not going for it,” Piercy said. “I'm not trying to put my foot on the accelerator. I'm kind of touch and go.”

McGirt, who is chasing his first USPGA Tour victory, highlighted his round with a 50-foot birdie putt on the eighth hole.

“There are still 36 holes left,” McGirt said. “There is a lot of golf left.”

Clark was thrilled with his performance, which included an eagle and a half-dozen birdies.

“It was obviously a great day for me,” Clark said. “I'm excited. It is nice to be back up in Canada. I have some good memories up here. The course suits me well, too, and I've enjoyed playing.”

Soft conditions gave the players the chance to lift, clean and place their golf balls Friday. Weather forecasters are predicting more rain on Saturday so the players will go out in threesomes off both tees.

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Scott Piercy hits off the 15th tee during second round play at the 2012 Canadian Open at the Hamilton Golf and County Club in Ancaster, Ontario, Friday, July 27.

(AP)

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