Two candidates for Canada's face of the future.
And a blast from the U.S. Opens of years past.
There's suddenly a bit of something for everybody at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.
When the sun set on Friday's second round at Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club, the pack of guys just two shots behind co-leaders Chad Campbell and Michael Thompson included 23-year-old Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C., and 31-year-old David Hearn of Brantford, Ont. — a couple of contenders to be the next big name in Canadian golf.
They're one shot behind two-time U.S. Open champ Lee Janzen, whose years as a big thing were supposed to be way behind him.
“I think David and I are both going into this event not trying to get low Canadian, but trying to win the thing,” said Hadwin, the reigning Rivermead Cup winner as the top Canuck at last year's RBC Canadian Open.
“We both have a job to do this weekend, and I think we're both going to prepare like we're going to win the championship. If either one of us is holding the Rivermead Cup, I don't doubt that there will be a little bit of disappointment in either of us that we're not holding the big one next to the Rivermead Cup.”
Hadwin had Shaughnessy abuzz on Friday afternoon, getting as low as three-under for the tournament before a bogey on the final hole to post at four-under 66 and a two-day total of two-under 138.
Hearn, meanwhile, was simply solid, making four birdies and a double for a two-under 68 that gives him the same two-day tally as his his countryman.
Both are shooting for their first PGA Tour title. Janzen, on the other hand, is seeking his first in what feels like forever.
Janzen won a pair of U.S. Open crowns — first at Baltusrol in 1993 and then at the Olympic Club in 1998 — but it's been 13 years since his most recent of eight triumphs on the world's top circuit.
“The good news is I know I've hit good shots on tough courses before when they mattered, so that's what I've got to remember,” Janzen said. “Golfers beat themselves up. We're all optimistic about the future about the future and pessimistic about the present. We've just got to always think about the good things.”
If you cancelled your cable in fear of Y2K, Janzen will be the most recognizable name on this week's leaderboard.
If you're up-to-date on the game of golf, though, that's probably not the case.
Among those joining Hadwin and Hearn at two-under 138 are
reigning Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and Puma posterboy Rickie Fowler, who was followed during Friday's round by a pack of orange-clad supporters.
John Daly, who was sporting maple leaf-patterned pants, arrived at the 18th tee with the same score but four-putted for a triple bogey and dropped to one-over 171.
Hadwin and Hearn were among five Canucks to survive the cut at four-over or better.
Considering that Mike Weir of Bright's Grove, Ont., was forced to withdraw after six holes in Friday's second round due to an elbow injury and Calgary's Stephen Ames is leaving town after a two-day total of seven-over 147, the spotlight will shine a little brighter on Hadwin, Hearn, Kingston's Matt McQuillan (141), Brad Fritsch of Manotick, Ont. (141), and Dustin Risdon of Strathmore, Alta. (144).
“A changing of the guard? I don't know. It might be too early to tell on that,” Hearn said. “But Stephen and Mike have certainly had amazing careers, and if I can attempt to do what they've done, I'd be pretty happy with that.
“I don't think the guard's changed just yet. But certainly the young guys are showing that they belong out here.”