On the cutting edge

STEVE BUFFERY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:14 AM ET

MARKHAM, Ont. -- Mike Weir still is in the hunt at the Canadian Open, but he's not looking particularly deadly.

The Bright's Grove, Ont., native, and huge fan favourite at the this week's tournament at Angus Glen North, or any event in Canada for that matter, shot one under 70 yesterday for a two-round total of 141, just making the cut.

Which is a major relief, given that he failed to make the cut at last year's event at the Hamilton Golf Club.

"It was a grind all the way around," Weir said after recording a bogey on 18 by three-putting. "I was glad to get one under, but I didn't play great."

A couple of relative unknowns on the PGA Tour, Steve Allan and rookie John Mallinger, share the lead after two rounds, each recording a two-day score of 10-under 132. Mallinger shot a five-under 66 yesterday to move on top with Allan, who shot a three-under 68.

Lurking in the wings, ready to pounce, is 2004 Canadian Open champ Vijay Singh, who shot a stellar six under 65 yesterday and sits at 133, along with a guy named Tripp Isenhour.

Singh and Weir have been matched at this week's event and Singh, who obviously is hoping to carry some momentum over the next two days and win for the third time on the Tour this year, also is hoping that his Canadian pal is able to move to the leaderboard this weekend.

Singh defeated Weir in a dramatic playoff to win the 2004 event at Glen Abbey in Oakville.

"I was rooting for Mike as well," Singh said. "He was struggling with his game a little bit, but he got it together coming in. It's good for the game, good for Canada that he's playing the weekend."

Weir, who tied for eighth at last week's British Open in Carnoustie, Scotland, has complained about his poor drives in recent weeks, and found himself in trouble early yesterday, picking up bogeys at two and four, after opening up with a birdie, but then picked up three more birdies before ending the day with another bogey on 18, a particularly frustrating way to end the day. Now nine shots behind the leaders, Weir has a long way to go to get back into contention, but he's not quite ready to throw in the towel.

"I can recall Valderrama (2001) when I was about eight back, shot a great round to get back in it," he said. "So you never know when this game can turn around."

Singh started the day slowly, picking up a bogey at four, but rang off seven birdies to move into contention.

American Hunter Mahan, who grabbed a two-shot lead in the first round with a course record 62, is four strokes behind the leaders after he struggled to a 74 yesterday.

Mallinger, 27, has moved his way into rookie-of-the-year contention this year, finishing third at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and tying for third at the Zurich Classic.

A native of Escondido, Calif., Mallinger played on the Canadian Tour before earning his PGA card in 2006 and credits his play north of the border with his success.

"It got me ready for situations like this," he said. "You learn to deal with the final group, you learn to deal with cameras and stuff like that. It was a great tour as far as development."

A total of four Canadians made the cut, Weir, Stephen Ames of Calgary, who shot 69 (139), David Hearn of Brantford, who dropped to 138 after shooting a two-over 73 and Vernon, B.C., native Chris Baryla, who shot a five-under 66 yesterday for a two-day total of 140.


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