HILTON HEAD, S.C. — Canada’s Corey Conners was one stroke off the lead after firing an 8-under-par 63 in the second round of the RBC Heritage on Friday.
Conners, from Listowel, Ont., sat tied for second with Bryson DeChambeau at 11 under at the halfway point of the PGA Tour event, one stroke back of Webb Simpson as the morning wave came to a close.
Conners didn’t have a bogey in the second round, hitting 88.89 per cent of greens in regulation.
“Obviously, pretty awesome round,” Conners said. “Stress free, hit a lot of really good shots. I felt great about my game. Rolled in a bunch of birdie putts to pay off with good shots. Really happy with the round.”
Conners was in contention for much of last week’s kickoff of the revamped PGA Tour schedule before fading into a tie for 19th at the Charles Schwab Challenge.
The tour was suspended for almost three months during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. No fans have been on the course at the first two events.
“I took a lot of positives away from last week,” Conners said. “There wasn’t much rust there. I was feeling pretty good and ready to go back into competition. Yeah, just tried to keep my confidence going and play aggressively here.
“I haven’t had a lot of success at this course before. It will be my first time playing the weekend. I think my experience over the last few years helped me. I’m definitely comfortable out here, and I like the golf course a lot.”
Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., also is in contention. He is 8 under for the tournament after shooting a 3-under 68 on Friday.
Hughes has made the cut in just three of 13 events this season, though one weekend appearance finished with a second-place result at the Honda Classic in the final completed event before the tour went on pause.
“Today was quite nice. I felt like 68 was probably the highest I could have shot today,” he said. “2020 has been a bit of a struggle for me so far. I’ve had a great result and a lot of other mixed results. So today was a nice round. Yeah, pretty low stress and nice spot for the weekend.”
Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C., is 5 under for the tournament.
Michael Gligic of Burlington, Ont. (even par), and David Hearn of Brantford, Ont. (2 over) likely will miss the cut.
Roger Sloan of Merritt, B.C., has an afternoon tee time. He was 1 under after the first round.