07/26/2013 08:38 EDT | Updated 09/25/2013 05:12 EDT

Mike Weir the top Canuck heading into weekend play at the RBC Canadian Open

OAKVILLE, Ont. - Mike Weir has given golf fans in Canada a lot to cheer about over his career.

Despite his recent struggles with injuries and inconsistency, the large gallery following him during the second round of the RBC Canadian Open got a glimpse of the past.

The Brights Grove, Ont., native shot a 5-under 67 on Friday to sit as the low Canadian at the tournament at 4 under overall with 36 holes to play.

"It was a great day. It was one of those rounds that could have been really anything," Weir said. "I could have been 10 under pretty easily.

"But I played great, and it was exciting to do that for the fans."

Weir sits in a tie for 26th, nine strokes back of leader Hunter Mahan and is one of just four Canadians from the field of 18 to make the cut at Glen Abbey Golf Club.

The Canadian Open, which has not seen a winner from this country in 59 years, is the PGA Tour's only trip north of the border. The pressure of playing in front of a partisan crowd is something the 43-year-old Weir relishes.

"There's not really anybody on Tour that has anything like this, to have the support like that," he said. "It's up to us Canadians when we come up here. To see the gallery support today as I got going and got rolling, you can really feed off that."

It could have been an even bigger day for the 2003 Masters champion, who was 7 under on the day until stumbling a bit with back-to-back bogeys on his final two holes.

"I've been dancing around really good numbers here for a while, and that was a nice solid one for sure ... could have been a really good one," said Weir, who finished in a season-high tie for 27th at the John Deere Classic earlier this month. "(Friday) was up there with one of the better rounds this year so far."

Roger Sloan of Merritt, B.C., a Tour player who earned an exemption into the tournament, shot his second straight 71 on Friday to sit at 2 under in a tie for 56th.

The 26-year-old missed the cut at the 2011 Canadian Open but is relishing his chance on the big stage while also trying to keep things in perspective.

"It's your national open. It means so much to you. A Canadian hasn't won it in eons so I think every Canadian wants to perform well at their national open. You can put a little extra pressure on yourself," Sloan said. "But at the end of the day you're out there on a golf course and it's you and a target and you've got to hit your target.

"I think if you can focus on that and put the distractions aside you can play well out here."

Ottawa's Brad Fritsch followed up Thursday's 69 with a second-round 73 after bogeys on two of his last four holes.

"I feel pretty good. My short game feels really good," said Fritsch, who also sits at 2 under. "Based on how I was hitting it coming in here, I would have thought that combination would be really good, but today I lost it a little bit."

David Hearn was the only other Canadian to make the cut, and he left it late.

The Brantford, Ont., native squeaked in with three birdies on his final three holes — including a 47-foot putt on 18 that got a huge cheer from the crowd — to close with a 73 and a two-day mark of 1 under.

"It feels good," said Hearn, who is tied for 63rd. "I said to my caddie, 'Let's run the tables, we've still got a chance here.'

"I'll go into the weekend with a little bit of confidence, but I've got a lot of work to do."

Meanwhile, Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask., who made the cut in his first British Open last week, is heading home after following up Thursday's 72 with a 73 to finish 1 over.

Among the other Canadian players missing the cut were: amateur player Corey Conners (74) of Listowel, Ont., Eugene Wong (71) of North Vancouver, B.C., Calgary's Stephen Ames (73), Peter Laws (74) of Milton, Ont., amateur Adam Svensson (72) of Surrey, B.C., Mackenzie Hughes (75) of Dundas, Ont., Adam Hadwin (71) of Abbotsford, B.C., Toronto's Albin Choi (73), amateur Kevin Carrigan (73) of Victoria, Riley Wheeldon (75) of Comox, B.C., Bryn Parry (75) of North Vancouver, Brian Hadley (75) of Sarnia, Ont., and amateur Eric Banks (84) of Truro, N.S.

Fritsch, who is in his first year on the PGA Tour, says it's important for players from Canada to be in contention at the national tournament.

"If people in the country are going to get behind young golfers even more, they've got to see them on the weekends," he said. "They've got to get to know them and the only way that happens is by us playing well."

No Canadian has won the tournament since Pat Fletcher accomplished the feat in 1954. Fritsch says players like Weir and himself would like nothing more than to write their names into the history books and grab the lion's share of the $5.6-million purse.

But with a field that includes nine of the top-25 ranked golfers in the world, he adds that's easier said than done.

"I hope people don't see it as a failure if Mike finishes 25th and I finish 30th. I hope people don't see that as disappointing," Fritsch said. "We all want to be up there come Sunday, but very few can time their good tournaments. Those are a select few."

Notes: The only Canadian-born golfer to win the Canadian Open is Karl Keffer (1909, 1914). Although a Canadian citizen at the time of his victory, Fletcher was born in England. ... Fritsch, who is sponsored by the Ottawa Senators and knows Daniel Alfredsson personally, said after his round that he was surprised that the former captain decided to leave the nation's capital and sign with the Detroit Red Wings as a free agent earlier this month. ... The tournament will have a second cut on Saturday because more than 78 players made Friday's cut.