Bubba Watson lurking at Canadian Open

Bubba Watson swings from the tee at the Canadian Open at Glen Abbey in Oakville, Ont., July 26,...

Bubba Watson swings from the tee at the Canadian Open at Glen Abbey in Oakville, Ont., July 26, 2013. (Stan Behal/QMI Agency)

TIM MCKAY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:37 PM ET

OAKVILLE, ONT. - As Brendan Steele stood on the eighth tee Friday, the first-round leader had to pause as a throng of fans bustled toward the ninth green.

Steele had to wait until the crowd settled, compose himself and then hit his drive. He didn't have to look too far to see where his competition was coming from, with Bubba Watson approaching the ninth green, and Hunter Mahan in the group in front of him on eight.

Mahan surged into the lead with a 64 on Friday afternoon to sit two shots ahead of John Merrick, who fired a course-record-tying 62 in the morning. Steele couldn't back up his opening-round 65, finishing with 75 to sit nine strokes back of Mahan's lead.

But lurking right there is 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson, who despite saying this course didn't really fit his eye, shot a solid 67 to go with an opening round 68 to leave him in sole possession of third at 9-under for the tournament.


Videos

Photos