Charl gets into contention in Canada

Masters champion Charl Schwartzel is making full use of his major experience as he moved himself to within two strokes of the halfway lead of the RBC Canadian Open.

He carded a three-under-par 67 around the tough Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club in Vancouver to reach the 36-hole mark at two-under-par 138, as Chad Campbell and Michael Thompson led at 136.

Between Schwartzel and the lead was the US pair of Paul Goydos and the veteran Lee Janzen.

As the difficulty of the rough continued to come under the microscope, Schwartzel looked ahead and theorised on what might be good enough to win: “Obviously if you’re under par right now, you’re playing good golf,” he said. “And if you continue it, there are birdies to be made. Just need to hit some good shots.”

And he made five birdies in his second round, compared to the three of his first, and, with only two bogeys compared to four in his first round, the results were clearly pleasing.

“I got myself back in the tournament. I think 67 is a decent score on this golf course,” he said.

He got himself into a good position by dialling down his efforts off the tee: He was 10 yards shorter than in the first round, but a whole lot more accurate. “I drove it well. Put it in position off the tee, and that is pretty much key around here,” he said.

“If you get it off the tee and get it in the fairway, the greens are really good. It’s not as easy as that sounds. The fairways are pretty narrow and the holes are long. So it demands drivers,” he added.

The tough conditions saw Ernie Els, who was second after the opening round, slide to a four-over 74 and a share of 37th at halfway – but just six shots off the pace, and not out of the hunt by any means.

And Louis Oosthuizen missed the cut after rounds of 75 and 74.

For Schwartzel, it’s about riding the wave. “Two-under probably won’t win, but you know, five or six-under. You just need to get someone playing well.”

He believes he is. “It always gives you lots of confidence if you play well under pressure in situations like these. You know, it’s something to ride on.”

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