PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. Hot blasts of wind on a diabolical course made The Players Championship tough enough to turn someone's hair gray. Not that the leaders needed any help with that Friday.
Kenny Perry, who first showed up at Sawgrass 20 years ago, kept his wits and his patience in 35 mph gusts and made only one bogey in a solid round of 2-under 70 that gave him a one-shot lead going into the weekend.
He will be paired with Bernhard Langer, who already has won twice this year on the Champions Tour.
The two-time Masters champion thought about withdrawing Thursday morning when he felt pain in his lower back, which caused his groin and left knee to ache, along with his left shoulder. All those creaking joints, and the 50-year-old Langer still managed to produce a 67 against kids who weren't even born when he won his first Masters.
Paul Goydos, 43, also was one shot behind, although he didn't attribute his fine play to experience.
"I'm more journeyman than veteran," he said after a 71.
Crashing the party naptime might be more apropos was Sergio Garcia, the 28-year-old Spaniard whose driving was as spectacular as his putting was atrocious. Garcia hit all 14 fairways, missed only three greens and took 33 putts on his way to a 73.
What cost him the 36-hole lead was a double bogey on the island-green 17th without ever going into the water.
Garcia's tee shot went over the back of the green and rolled down the artificial turf path, leaving him a chip over a corner of the water. His shot came out hot, rolled off the green and only a slight rise in the first cut of rough kept it dry. He chipped weakly and missed another putt, then missed a 7-foot birdie putt on the last.
"I probably deserved a little bit more than what I got," Garcia said.
Pardon the rest of these guys if they feel as if they're playing on borrowed time.