Canadian Open: Theegala, Bhatia make cut as China's Yuan grabs halfway lead; Aaron Rai drops to sec

Toronto, Jun 10 (IANS): American Indians Sahith Theegala (73-70) and Akshay Bhatia (69-74) made the cut at tied-60th even as China's Carl Yuan seized a one-stroke lead at the end of the second round of RBC Canadian Open following a fine 5-under 67.

The 26-year-old Yuan, with his funky golf swing and exaggerated follow-through action, is seeking to become the first mainland Chinese golfer to win on PGA Tour, traded seven birdies against a pair of bogeys at Oakdale Golf and Country Club in Toronto to earn his first-ever lead in any round on Tour with his 9-under 135 total.

Chinese Taipei's C.T. Pan, chasing a second career win, ensured a strong Asian presence on the leaderboard as he charged into tied second place on 136 with a 66 to join overnight co-leaders Aaron Rai of England and home hero Corey Corners, who both signed matching 69s.

England's Tyrell Hatton fired the day's best of 64 for T2 as well, with defending champion Rory McIlroy carding a bogey-free 67 to lie three back.

Yuan's superb iron play saw him hit 15 greens in regulation as he produced four birdies from about four feet on Hole Nos. 7, 12, 16 and 18 at a difficult Oakdale course. He also rode on a hot putter by rolling in three birdies from within 13 feet on the first, second and 15th holes. "Definitely played some great golf out there. I had the exact same mindset as yesterday. Just go out, play freely land let the result take care of itself," said Yuan, who has struggled in his rookie season on TOUR with only five made cuts this season.

A native from Dalian, Yuan earned his PGA TOUR card by finishing second on the Korn Ferry Tour last season following one win and eight top-10s, and drew plenty of attention with his unorthodox swing action, especially his exaggerated follow-through. The fun side of Yuan has been missing this year as he struggled to adapt to new golf courses each week.

Pan's lone victory was at the 2019 RBC Heritage. He won twice on PGA TOUR Canada in his first year as a professional.



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Title: Canadian Open: Theegala, Bhatia make cut as China's Yuan grabs halfway lead; Aaron Rai drops to sec

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