LOS ANGELES -- Now that the Nissan Open is half over, here's a suggestion for the leaders this weekend: Put your names on the backs of your shirts so somebody knows who you are.
Actually, that's not fair. Bob Tway won the PGA Championship in 1986, which isn't that long ago, if you forget that Tiger Woods was 10 at the time.
Tway is tied for the 36-hole lead at nine-under-par 133 with Greg Chalmers from Perth, Australia.
What do we know about Chalmers? Well, he's 26, he writes right-handed and swings left-handed, his parents own a McDonald's franchise in his hometown and he just bought a place in Dallas because that commute from Perth to Doral and Bay Hill is a real killer.
''I'm kind of from everywhere at the moment,'' Chalmers said.
Funny he should say that, because at this very moment, the Nissan Open is sort of from everywhere too. J.P. Hayes and Jeff Freeman -- you know, Robin's brother -- are one shot off the lead, and Tom Scherrer and Bradley Hughes are two shots back.
The group at six-under 136 features Tommy Armour III, Craig Spence, David Sutherland, Tom Pernice Jr., Brandel Chamblee and Hal Sutton.
Of course, anything can happen today and Sunday at the storied Riviera Country Club layout, maybe even something that used to happen every week ... like Woods making a run.
By all estimates, it's entirely possible, although Woods left himself some ground to cover with an uneventful round of 70. That left him tied for 24th, five shots behind the leaders at four-under 138.
After he signed his scorecard, Woods went directly to the driving range for some pre-dusk work, but only after talking about the part of his game that bothers him the most.
That would be putting. Not enough of his putts went in to suit Woods.
''You make a good stroke, hit a good putt on the right line at the right speed and it doesn't go in,'' Woods said. ''That's a little disconcerting at times.''
The usual crush of fans and reporters followed Woods but the object of everyone's affection says it doesn't get on his nerves one little bit.
''The only thing getting on my nerves is the ball not going in the hole,'' he said.
That usually does it, all right. Woods' other problem was No. 13, his fourth hole, which he double-bogeyed.
The problem began when Woods hit his 9-iron second shot in the right rough under somebody's backpack, about 35 feet from the pin in the fringe. He had a bad lie and moved the ball only about halfway to the hole, but still in the fringe. He chipped nine feet past the hole and two-putted for his six.
''It's a challenge, no doubt about it,'' he said.
Meanwhile, the challenge of putting also affected Tway, although he didn't appear to be suffering on his way to a 67.
He strung together three birdies on the back, elbowing his way into a share of the lead. Putting problems? What putting problems? He made a 15-footer at No. 12, a 10-footer at No. 13 and another 15-footer at No. 14.
''I don't know if things even out, but you just keep giving yourself chances,'' Tway said.
Including his major championship title at Inverness, Tway has won seven times in his 16-year pro career. That's seven times more than Chalmers, who was a rookie last year when he tried to keep his feet on the ground. He did a good job of it, making $362,635 and finishing 114th on the money list to retain his tour card.
''Last year was pretty tough,'' said Chalmers, whose role model was Greg Norman, of course.
Hayes kept himself together with a 70 in the morning that enabled him to continue his search for his first PGA Tour victory. It is not an easy hunt, he admitted.
''You've got to play well to keep your job out here,'' he said.
The weekend began early for some of the better known players, such as John Daly, Tom Lehman, Jean Van de Velde, Nick Faldo, Justin Leonard, Mark O'Meara, and Ben Crenshaw. They missed the cut. And Lee Westwood withdrew after his first-round 72.
The players still around should think about this: There are 37 of you guys within five shots of the leaders. You know who you are. And now, so do we.
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