Dungannon’s Fergal Rafferty is just three shots off the lead after the second round of the Times Colonist Island Savings Open - the opening event of the inaugural PGA Tour Canada season.
The 26-year old graduate of Sam Houston State University added a level par 70 to his opening 66 to share fifth place on four under par.
Arizona’s Matt Marshall extended his first round lead to two shots, shooting an even-par 70 at Uplands Golf Club to lead by two over Idaho’s Joe Panzeri and Tyler Aldridge and England’s David Skinns through 36 holes.
Marshall’s 70 was good enough to double his lead on a day when low scores were rare, with just 22 players breaking par Friday and only 31 players under par through two rounds. 21 players are within five shots of Marshall’s lead, setting up a tight leaderboard heading into the weekend.
“One-over to two-over is not a bad score right now,” said Marshall. “The greens are firm and you really have to think about where you want to putt it from.”
Playing the Times Colonist Island Savings Open for the fourth time, Marshall said experience is a useful asset
“You can’t just hit driver on every hole,” said Marshall, noting that the tough conditions demanded a careful, intelligent approach to the golf course. “It shows you how tough this golf course is. It’s taken me four years to really understand it.”
David Skinns, one of three players two strokes behind Marshall’s lead, said a successful weekend would require smart decisions and few mistakes
“It was a day where attacking wasn’t really an option,” said Skinns, one of three players two strokes behind Marshall’s lead. “It’s going to demand some really good golf to win and you’re not going to be able to get away with a whole lot,” said Skinns, who is looking to return to the Web.com Tour, where he played in 2012.