Daniel McCarthy of Syracuse, N.Y., shot a six-under 66 on Friday at the Lakes Golf Club to take the 36-hole lead at the Cape Breton Celtic Classic.
McCarthy, a 29-year old returning to PGA Tour Canada this season for the first time since 2010, went bogey-free and led by one over Chris Williams of Moscow, Id., through two rounds.
“It’s nice to see some putts finally going in. I’ve been hitting it pretty well this year, but I’ve struggled a little bit with the putter,” said McCarthy, who is 44th on the Order of Merit with four top-25s this season.
“I’ve driven it really well and kept it in play. I’ve hit a lot of nice iron shots and rolled in a few putts too and it’s been two good finishes to the rounds for sure,” he said.
Greg Machtaler of Summerland, B.C., shot a 10-under 62 to move into a tie for third on the first anniversary of the passing of his dad, Glenn. Sept. 5 was also his dad’s birthday.
“I was thinking about him a lot today and maybe that had something to do with it,” said Machtaler, who birdied his final five holes to set the course record at the Lakes Golf Club.
“I just kind of got out of my own head and was thinking about him. I wanted to play another good round for him and I was able to do so.”
Machtaler, the champion at the inaugural Forces & Families Open earlier this year, is no stranger to 62s. In Ottawa, he carded a final round 62 to come from six shots behind and claim his first PGA Tour Canada win.
“Sometimes I get that feeling and I seem to be very good at just running with it and not asking questions and I was able to do that today,” said Machtaler.
“Everything gets calm and a little slower. I find everything just slows down. That’s the best I’ve putted all year for sure,” he added.
After opening with a 1-over 73 on Thursday, Machtaler said he was much closer to missing the cut than shooting double digits under par.
Some timely advice from fellow British Columbia native Brad Clapp came in handy, however, and put Machtaler over the top for Friday’s round.
“I gotta thank Brad Clapp, because I was lost (Thursday),” said Machtaler.
“I should have shot 78 (Thursday) and I was able to squeak out a 73. I was lost and said ‘Hey man, can you come help me for five minutes on the range?’” he recalled.
“He was nice enough to do it and showed me a couple things. It always feels so far off when you’re not hitting it good. He just kind of helped me do some drills and I started hitting it quite good today,” said Machtaler.
Machtaler’s round put him two shots off the lead in a tie for third at nine under.
For the leaderboard, click here.