WINNIPEG -- Nathan Tyler and Carlos Sainz, Jr. both reached 12-under par through 36 holes on Friday to share the lead through two rounds at the PGA Tour of Canada's Players Cup.
Tyler shot an 8-under par 64, tied for the best round of the day.
"I'm just trying to stay within myself, keep the ball in between the trees and give myself as many opportunities as possible," said Tyler, who has made all four cuts in his rookie season on PGA TOUR Canada. "I've played well this year and feel comfortable where I'm at. I just hope to continue doing what I'm doing."
Sainz, Jr. followed up his 65 from round one with a 67 to share the lead by one over Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., and by two over Victoria's Cory Renfrew.
"There were a couple of up and downs there that were the key to my round," said Sainz, Jr. "When you're playing well, the difference between 71 and 67 can be just a couple of up and downs. You have to fall back on your short game."
Hughes made seven birdies and a bogey for a 67 at Pine Ridge Golf Club, while Renfrew, playing in the same group as Sainz, Jr., followed up his first round 68 with a bogey-free 66 to reach 10-under par.
"Playing with Carlos has made it easy, watching him smooth it out there and roll in some putts," said Renfrew, coming off a solo third place finish last week in Fort McMurray, Alta. "I'm just excited right now. I'm hitting it well and rolling the putter well. I'm just trying to have fun out there and make birdies, and things are going well so far."
While Hughes already has an exemption into next week's RBC Canadian Open, Tyler, Sainz, Jr. and Renfrew are all looking to make a move up the Order of Merit and finish inside the top three, all of whom will receive exemptions into the PGA Tour event.
Wil Collins, the current Order of Merit No. 2, shot a bogey-free 68 to sit 9-under and in a tie for fifth, while No. 3 Stephen Gangluff shot his second straight 71 and was tied for 40th at 2-under par.
Renfrew is eighth on the Order of Merit and would need at least a solo second to catch Gangluff's total of $27,585, while Tyler and Sainz, Jr. would both need a win to reach the top three.