Birdie barrage gives Walker lead at Osprey Valley Open

CALEDON, Ontario, Canada—Danny Walker majored in economics at the University of Virginia. He came in handy on Friday in the second round of the Osprey Valley Open presented by Votorantim Cimentos – CBM Aggregates.

The numbers tell how Walker built a two-stroke lead over Joseph Harrison in the PGA TOUR Canada event at TPC Toronto at the Heathlands course in Osprey Valley. He is less than 11 years old after shooting a tournament-best 62. The round included nine birdies.

“It was a great day. I just played really solid. I hit almost every fairway and I think I hit every green,” Walker said. “So when you play like that, it’s pretty stress-free, and I didn’t have to force anything. I was able to hit a few good shots and make a few putts. It just added to a great ride.

Walker recorded birdies on the first three holes and then added a streak from the 13th through 16th holes. Between runs, he birdied No. 9 and No. 11.

“Honestly, everything was clicking today. It was just one of those days where I was hitting the driver well, hitting good iron shots and the putter felt good,” said Walker, who has 26 career starts on the Korn Ferry Tour between 2019 and 2020. “So when everything feels right, you just have to go out of your own way and not think too much and just let it be, which I think I did a good job today.

A good morning. It is, quite simply, what allowed Harrison to climb 18 places in the standings and take sole possession of second place. Harrison took advantage of an early tee time. He’s 9 under, two strokes behind Walker with 36 holes to play.

The former University of San Diego standout birdied the first two holes and four of seven to start the day. He added an eagle on the ninth hole to finish with a 30 on the front nine. Birdies on numbers 14 and 18 completed a round without bogeys.

“We didn’t have much wind for our first seven holes, which was nice. Quite the opposite of [Thursday]”, Harrison said. “So it was good to hit a few shots up close and enjoy it.”

After shooting a 70 in windy conditions Thursday, Harrison posted a 63 on Friday. The Las Vegas resident got the start at 7:40 a.m. and was obviously happy with how things went with the early start.

Harrison said the greens get “crisp,” fast and a bit bumpy in the afternoon.

“So I knew if I was going to putt, I would do it early on since I was the second group out,” he added.

Even so, Harrison noted that he missed four putts inside 10 feet. It didn’t diminish his confidence heading into the weekend. Instead, it gave him a boost.

“If I keep hitting good and giving myself (birdie) looks, then there’s no reason I can’t do it,” Harrison said.

Several other golfers are in pursuit of Walker and Harrison. The closest, at 8 cents, is Jacob Solomon. Chez 7-under is a group that includes Parker Gillam, Cooper Musselman, Kieran Vincent and Joey Vrzich.

Did you know Danny Walker has a win on PGA TOUR Canada? He won the Freedom 55 Financial Championship in London, Ontario in 2018. He opened the tournament with a 7-under 63 and shot a 64 in the final round to win by two strokes over George Cunningham and Jonathan Garrick.

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