Hamilton fights back

MIKE RUTSEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:45 AM ET

ANCASTER -- It was a bad day for high ball strikers and guys wearing toupees.

Scenic Hamilton Golf and Country Club, aided by gusting, swirling winds, yesterday fought back from Thursday's pummeling at the 2006 Canadian Open.

"Hamilton bites back," England's Justin Rose, the co-leader on Thursday with a 63, said after shooting a one over 71 in the second round. "There were tricky winds today. In the end I'm really happy with the 71."

Rose, at six under, is in a large group at 134, one shot out of the lead.

Topping the leaderboard at seven-under 133 is the foursome of Jesper Parnevik (68), Aaron Oberholser (68), Jonathan Byrd (68) and Camilo Villegas, who shot a six-under 64.

"It wasn't easy out there but I managed to roll some great putts," Villegas said.

Mental toughness, as well as shotmaking, was the key to a good round.

"It was easy to get frustrated," Rose said of the conditions. "I got it to eight under at one point and thought it would be nice to get into the clubhouse with that."

Jim Furyk, the co-leader with Rose after Day 1, also shot a one-over 71 and is at six under.

Nathan Green, from the small Australian town of Toronto and a graduate of the Canadian Tour, opened the day at six under and got it to nine under before the wheels came off on his back nine. He finished with a 70 and remains in the hunt at six under.

"I struggled all day, sort of scrapped it around the front," said Green, in his rookie year on the PGA Tour. "It was a little bit scrappy. I pretty much fought my way in."

It was a day when merely treading water often moved a player up the leaderboard.

Two players who managed to conquer the conditions and rose into contention were Brett Quigley and Ben Curtis.

Quigley, amazingly, had a bogey-free round and shot the low score of the day, a seven-under 63 which tied the course professional record set Thursday by Rose and Furyk. He's in the group at minus-6.

Curtis, the 2003 British Open champ, shot a four-under 66 and is at minus-5.

On Thursday, Quigley was close to shooting himself out of the tournament but rallied late.

"It kind of started yesterday for me," Quigley said. "I was three over after 14 for the tournament and I just got really upset with myself because I've been playing pretty well. Three over is not where you want to be.

"Fortunately I made a couple of birdies coming in and that set the stage for today. I birdied the first hole out of the gate. It was nice to start with a birdie and carry that momentum on."

Curtis, who won the Booz Allen Classic June 25, said the wind only picked up in his back nine.

"I was striking the ball really well and put the ball where I needed to and made a couple of nice long putts that kept the round going," he said. "It was one of those days when you're hitting it good you've got to take advantage of it."

He was one of the few. Most were simply praying to hang on.


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