Paul Azinger, although admitting to fatigue, shot a 5-under-par 66 Friday and took the second-round lead in the PGA National Championship.
Azinger, the 1987 Player of the Year and a winner earlier this season, reached the halfway point of the last of the year's Big Four events at 133, nine under par."I was getting pretty fatigued at the end of the day," said Azinger, who was bothered by back problems and muscle spasms earlier in the week.
"I don't have a back problem any more - except when I try to sleep. But I haven't slept much since Thursday and I was really getting fatigued.
"We had a very welcome wait on the 17th tee, and that helped," said Azinger, who held a one-shot lead over club pro Jay Overton.
Overton, constantly chatting with a growing gallery, also had a 66 and was at 134.
"That's what club pros are supposed to do," the graying, 37-year-old Overton said of his on-course conversations with spectators. "If we're not nice, we get fired."
The Oak Tree Golf Club, ranked as the toughest par 71 course in this country but a tempting target in the absence of wind, was subjected to a record-setting barrage of low scores.
With a handful of players still out, 34 players had broken par for the day. The previous single-day record for subpar scores in the PGA was 31.
In addition to Azinger and Overton, Curt Byrum and Calvin Peete also had 66s, Dave Rummells came within one stroke of the PGA record with a 64 and Gary Koch shot 65.
"I can't believe how low the scores are," said Rummells, a third-year touring pro who matched his career-high finish with a tie for fourth last week.
"But the conditions are perfect for scoring; light winds and the greens are soft so you can throw it right in there," he said.
Rummells scored nine birdies, including five in a row on the front, in his course-record effort that he said could have been better.
"I felt like I could have shot in the 50s out there," said Rummells, who finished 36 holes at 137, five under par.
Ray Floyd, 45, a two-time winner of this title, was tied with John Cook at 136, three off the pace. Floyd had a second consecutive 68, Cook 69.
David Graham, 42, who won the PGA in 1979, shot a 67 and was tied with Koch, Rummells, Steve Jones and Tommy Nakajima of Japan at 137. Jones and Nakajima each had a 68.
Greg Norman also had a 71 and was in a large group at 139.
"I'm basically disappointed," said Norman, who hadn't played since injuring a wrist in the U.S. Open. "It was moving day this morning. The course played two shots easier."