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Live notes: Second round

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Want to know what's going on at Oakland Hills? Our crew at the PGA Championship will keep you updated with all the happenings during Friday's action. Check back often for our continuous coverage.

SECOND-ROUND COVERAGE: Leaderboard | Photo gallery

RARE BIRDIES: The par-3 17 yielded just one birdie in the second round; the par-4 18th yielded two. And in fact, six holes gave up less than 10 birdies to the 156 players in the field Friday.

Here's how those holes rank by fewest birdies allowed in the second round. -- Mike McAllister (8:37 p.m. ET)

HoleParBirdiesStroke avg.
above par
Rank of
difficulty
17310.5102
18420.7161
7460.3816
8460.4844
16470.4973
15480.25812

INTERESTING TIDBITS: Hot off the Elias Sports Bureau presses ...

* J.B. Holmes leads after two rounds of the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills. This is the first time that Holmes has been atop the leader board alone in major championship play. Holmes becomes the sixth player to sit atop a leader board at the conclusion of a PGA Championship round without ever having done so before in a major. The last player to accomplish this feat was Shaun Micheel at the 2003 PGA Championship, a tournament Micheel went on to win.

* Sergio Garcia made a costly mistake on the 17th hole Friday when he four-putt the green. This is just the fifth four-putt of Garcia's PGA TOUR career and his first in a major championship. Garcia's last four-putt came on the 14th hole during the third round of the 2005 Barclays Classic.

* Andres Romero began the second round 1-under and one shot back of the leaders. At the 16th hole, Romero's seventh of the day, things began to unravel: Romero made a quadruple bogey on the hole and then two holes later made double bogey on the 18th. Romero becomes the fifth player in the last 25 years at a major championship to make a quadruple bogey and a double bogey on either the front or back nine and still make the cut. The last player to do so was Michael Campbell on the back nine of the 2000 U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach. Campbell recorded a six on the par-four 11th hole and a nine on the par-five 18th hole and still managed to make the cut.

* Ben Curtis and Justin Rose have posted the low rounds of the tournament with 3-under 67s in Friday's round. In the past 25 years of major championship play, only one other major has had the low round score higher in relation to par through the first two rounds. At the 2006 U.S. Open Championship at Winged Foot, both David Duval and Arron Oberholser each posted the low score of two under-par 68 during the second round of play.

* Paul Goydos ended his first round Thursday by recording birdie-par. On Friday, Goydos did not record a score over par until his 16th hole of play. The streak of 17 bogey-free holes is the longest of Goydos's major championship career. Goydos's previous best bogey-free streak was a 14-hole effort during the 1998 PGA Championship at Sahalee. -- (8:25 p.m. ET)

CUT: As expected, the cut line was 8 over, with 73 players scheduled to play in the final two rounds. -- Mike McAllister (8:10 p.m. ET)

ONE RED NUMBER: Second-round leader J.B. Holmes is the only player under par after 36 holes at Oakland Hills. That ties for the second-fewest number of players under par at the midway point at the PGA Championship since the event went to stroke play in 1958. -- Mike McAllister (8 p.m. ET)

YearCoursePlayers under par
after second round
Eventual winning score
1970Southern Hills01 under (Stockton)
1960Firestone1 (Hebert)1 over (Hebert)
1966Firestone1 (Snead)Even par (Geiberger)
1972Oakland Hills1 (Heard)1 over (Player)
2008Oakland Hills1 (Holmes)???
1958Llanerch2 (Finsterwald,
Hebert)
4 under (Finsterwald)
1968Pecan Valley3 (Fleckman, Beard,
Sanders)
1 over (Boros)
1980Oak Hill3 (Morgan, Nicklaus,
Hinkle)
6 under (Nicklaus)
2003Oak Hill3 (Micheel, Andrade,
Weir)
4 under (Micheel)

THE OPEN IN AUGUST: Australia's Aaron Baddeley on the first two days at Oakland Hills ...

"It is a U.S. Open. It's as simple as that. There's one guy under par right now and conditions are exactly like the U.S. Open, rough being thick, greens being firm and crusty and it's playing tough." -- Mike McAllister (7:35 p.m. ET)

FURYK ... WHEW!: Jim Furyk came to his last hole in the second round having not posted a birdie all day. And that hole, the par-4 18th, had not given up a birdie to any of the previous 100-plus players who had played it today.

To make matters more interesting, Furyk was at 9-over, one above the projected cut line.

So you can guess the rest. Furyk did the near-impossible, making birdie on the 18th to move to 8-over and likely give himself two extra days at Oakland Hills.

Furyk's 7-over 77 Friday probably won't sit well with the former U.S. Open champ, but he has to like the finish of his round. -- Mike McAllister (6:40 p.m. ET)

CUT LINE PROJECTION: The cut line looks to be 8-over as the final groups come in. That means Jim Furyk and Miguel Angel Jimenez, who are still playing but are at 9 over, are in trouble.

Other notables who will not make the cut: Fred Couples, Adam Scott, Stewart Cink, Darren Clarke, Lee Westwood, K.J. Choi, Davis Love III and Vijay Singh. -- Mike McAllister (6:25 p.m. ET)

BIRDIE UPDATE: Anthony Kim just became the first player today to birdie the par-3 17th. That moves him to 4 over for the tournament. -- Mike McAllister (6:25 p.m. ET)

BIRDIE SCARCITY: A quick check of the latest course stats reveals that no birdies have been recorded on the par-3 238-yard 17th or the par-4 498-yard 18th. That's right, no birdies -- and that's with just 28 players left to play those two holes.

Right now, the 18th is the hardest hole on the course, playing to a stroke average of 0.779 above par. The 17th is the third hardest, playing to a stroke average of 0.500 above par.

It'll be interesting to see if the PGA of America reacts in the same manner that it did on Friday when it moved the tee up 10 yards at the par-3 257 yard ninth hole after that hole yielded just two birdies in the opening round. Thirteen birdies have been recorded thus far at the ninth in the second round. -- Mike McAllister (6:15 p.m. ET)

MONTY'S DAY: If this is indeed Colin Montgomerie's last major -- as some members of the European media have speculated this week -- then it won't be with much fondness. It's been a brutal day for the Scot in the second round. At one point, he had a string of eight consecutive holes over par, with six bogeys and two double bogeys during that time. With two holes left, he's currently 13 over for his round and 19 over for the tournament. (Click here for his scorecard.) -- Mike McAllister (6:15 p.m.)

HOLMES AT 36: Should J.B. Holmes hang on to the lead, it would mark only the second 36-hole lead/co-lead of his PGA TOUR career. Holmes was in a five-way tie for the lead earlier this year at the halfway point of the FBR Open, where he eventually went on to win his second career title. -- Stewart Moore (5:47 p.m. ET)

71'S FINE: Brandt Snedeker couldn't be disappointed with his second straight 71 on Friday. Not on a course that he deemed "brutal, absolutely brutal.

Snedeker
Snedeker

"I'm glad to get out of there with what I did," Snedeker said. "My short game was unbelievable today. I made a lot of great up and downs. It's just playing tough. You got to hit really good shots and make 7-, 8-footers for par."

Snedeker, who will defend his first PGA TOUR title next week at the Wyndham Championship, said the brisk wind on Friday definitely had an impact.

"It's that much harder to hit the fairways, that much harder to hit the greens," said Snedeker, who trails J.B. Holmes by three strokes. "The greens are so tricky uphills, downhills, that wind even affects them on the greens. So it makes it that much harder to pull a club out there." -- Helen Ross (5:40 p.m. ET)

ROSE THRILLED: Justin Rose has played 42 rounds on the PGA TOUR coming into the second round at Oakland Hills. He's played four more at the European Open.

Rose
Rose

None were better than the 3-under 67 that he fashioned at the Monster on Friday.

"I think it is the round of the year, for sure," Rose said. "It's the kind of round I've been looking for to get myself back on the leaderboard and feeling the good vibes."

More importantly, Rose added, "it was the round that I felt most at ease out there and really calm with my emotions and in the moment and playing one shot at a time -- and that's what I've been struggling to do."

Rose needed just 25 putts Friday, helping him to avoid the tough, undulating greens and dry conditions that help make Oakland Hills so tough. In fact, on his back nine he needed just 11 putts.

Perhaps his most important putt was actually the eight-footer he made for bogey on the 18th (his ninth hole) that helped limit the damage at a potentially dicey moment. On his back nine, he had two birdies and no bogeys for the 67 that is his best round in six PGA Championship appearances.

"I quite like the tough greens," Rose said, noting his putting success at courses such as Augusta National and Oakmont. "I like them when they get quick. I like the imagination that are needed with the big curves."

And the imagination now shifts to the weekend, which he will enter with a grand opportunity to capture his first major -- and enhance his chances to make the European Ryder Cup team.

"There's two days to go here, but the key for me to play good golf is to not get ahead of myself and think about the Ryder Cup and all these things," Rose said. "It's imporant, but today I was really in the moment and playing one shot at a moment. That's clearly my goal for the weekend." -- Mike McAllister (5:10 p.m. ET)

LOCAL COLORS: Ben Curtis is, of course, wearing Detroit Lions colors this week in the Motor City, thanks to his endorsement deal with the NFL.

But he's not sure what he'll wear at the first event of the FedExCup Playoffs, The Barclays in New Jersey. Maybe Jets a couple of days, Giants the others. Depends on the mix of fans, he said.

He made a mistake a few years ago in Westchester when he wore Jets colors in a Giants -- or as they say up there "Jints" -- stronghold.

So for his information ... New Jersey and upstate means Giants. Long Island is Jets. -- Melanie Hauser (4:30 p.m. ET)

LOOKING AHEAD: A third-round pairing of Sergio Garcia and Phil Mickelson certainly has star power. And it would be especially intriguing if both players were in the final twosome of the day.

But they'll both have to finish at 2 under to have a chance to do that. And right now, given the way the course is playing -- "The golf course is so nasty right now. Just nasty," Rocco Mediate said a short while ago -- that may be asking too much.

Currently, Garcia is playing two groups ahead of Mickelson , with both players sitll on their front nines. Each is at 1 under, tying J.B. Holmes for the tournament lead. But since Holmes is already in the clubhouse, he'll be in the last
twosome -- the first-in, last-out rule -- if the 36-hole lead ends up at 1-under.

To follow Garcia's round, click here. To follow Mickelson's round, click here. -- Mike McAllister (4 p.m. ET)

AMES UNDER THE WEATHER: Stephen Ames nearly didn't make it to the first tee Friday. He didn't have much reason after opening with a 7-over 77, but he had been battling a bad head cold that contributed to his struggles.

Still, Ames, a former PLAYERS champion, gutted it out, following up with a 75 to end up as 12-over 152, well outside the cut line. But he still had a smile on his face at the end of the day.

"Well, it was a much more enjoyable experience," Ames said. "I feel much better, not so lethargic. But I was never not going to show up. If I played well today, I could have still been in it. I played OK but not well enough." -- Dave Shedloski (3:50 p.m. ET)

HOLMES QUICK QUOTES: A few comments from J.B. Holmes after his 2-under 68 gave him the clubhouse lead at 1 under ...

Holmes
Holmes

* ON HIS ROUND: "I don't feel real lucky. I hit the ball better than I thought. I played the front side and I shot 1 under, had 19 putts. So it was really frustrating to do that, but I hit the ball real well today. 68's a great score. Glad I got in with that. But I felt I left a few out there."

* ON HIS STRETCH OF THREE STRAIGHT BIRDIES: "There's just a few holes you go to that you think you have a chance to birdie and that was a stretch ... I knew 12 and 13 would definitely be birdie holes. I hit some good shots on those holes and made birdie. After my third birdie (at 14), the next four holes were pretty much into the wind right there and I was just trying to make par on those holes."

For more on Holmes' round, click here. -- Mike McAllister (3:40 p.m. ET)

WOODY - ONE YEAR LATER: Woody Austin, last year's runner-up in the PGA Championship at Southern Hills, couldn't recreate the same performance this week. The three-time PGA TOUR winner shot a second consecutive 79 on Friday and finished at 18-over 158. After the golf course got done beating him up, Austin took to beating himself up, as he tends to do.

Austin
Austin

"The golf course didn't do anything to me," Austin sniffed. "I did it to me. I'm the one who played like an idiot."

While many of his peers offered their share of complaints about the set-up despite much better scores, Austin said Oakland Hills was fair.

"You can score out there. You just have to figure it out," he said. "This week I completely forgot how to play golf. I mean, if you play the golf course as badly as I did, as tough as it is, it's not going to be pretty." -- Dave Shedloski (3:35 p.m. ET)

DRIVABLE PAR 4: The par-4 sixth hole, the shortest par 4 on the course at 387 yards, is playing at 300 yards on Friday after the PGA moved up the tee box to entice players to drive the hole.

The move is paying off. Through the first 89 players on that hole, the scoring average is 3.859, making it the second easiest hole on Friday next to the par-5 second hole. In the first round, the sixth hole was the eighth most difficult, playing to a scoring average of 4.327.

Currently, the second and sixth holes are the only two playing under par in Friday's round.

No statistics were available on how many players have actually landed their tee shots on the green, but the impact on Greens In Regulation is significant -- almost a 20 percent increase.

"It was probably unfortunate today that the wind is so strong because it just doesn't quite allow you to reach the green," said Justin Rose, who shot a 3-under 67. "But it certainly was a very interesting move and I enjoyed the fact that the tees were up. It's nice that the people setting up the golf course are showing a little bit of imagination."

Despite the shorter length, the hole remains a challenge because of the bunkers that surround the green, as well as the two-tiered putting surface in which the top tier is just 12 yards wide.

"Yeah, it brings in all sorts of trouble, too," Rose said. "There's a big, deep bunker about 30 yards short of the green that's about 250 (yards); you have to hit a good drive just to carry that bunker.

"Although it's a short hole, it's the perfect risk/reward hole."

Here's is a stats comparison on the sixth hole in the first two rounds. -- Mike McAllister (3:20 p.m. ET)

RoundLengthStroke avg.
(No. of rounds)
BirdiesParsBogeysOthers
1387 yds.4.327 (156 players)15864510
2300 yds.3.859 (92 players)2753102

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: A few mid-afternoon notes ...

* Two-time PGA TOUR winner J.B. Holmes, who has the clubhouse lead at 1 under (71-68--139), appears to have found his form again after missing four cuts in his last six starts on TOUR. Holmes, following a T10 finish at THE PLAYERS Championship in May, was ranked No. 9 on the Ryder Cup points list, but now finds himself at No. 16 and needing some help to move into the top eight.

* What a difference a year makes. Woody Austin entered last year's PGA Championship ranked No. 18 on the Presidents Cup points list and used a runner-up finish to move up to No. 10 and secure an automatic berth on the United States team. Austin entered this week ranked No. 9 on the Ryder Cup points list and missed the cut with rounds of 79-79--158 and will now have to rely on a captain's pick in order to make the United States team.

* After finishing in the top 12 in all four major championships in 2007, Justin Rose has struggled in those same events in 2008. His best finish came at the Masters Tournament, where he wound up T36 on the week. Friday's round of 67 marks only the second time in 14 starts on the 2008 PGA TOUR that Rose has broken par in the second round of a tournament. He entered the week ranked No. 189 in round two scoring average on the PGA TOUR.

* David Toms bounced back from a first-round 72 with a round of 69 on Friday. This is Toms' first round below par in a major championship since the first round of the 2007 Masters Tournament (70). Toms has been inside the top 10 through 36 holes only once in his last 20 stroke-play starts on the PGA TOUR (T4?2008 AT&T Classic; finished T20).

* Charlie Wi is making the most of his first career start in a major championship with rounds of 70-70--140. Wi has played consistently in 2008 with nine top-25 finishes in 20 starts and his best finish (T4) coming at the John Deere Classic.

* The last three 36-hole leaders on the PGA TOUR have gone on to win the tournament: Chez Reavie (RBC Canadian Open), Parker McLachlin (Legends Reno-Tahoe Open) and Vijay Singh (WGC-Bridgestone Invitational). -- Stewart Moore (2:50 p.m. ET)

HOLMES SITTING PRETTY: J.B. Holmes has the clubhouse lead after his 2-under 68 that moves him to 1 under for the tournament.

Holmes was at 3-under for the tournament at one point, thanks to a string of three consecutive birdies at holes 12-14. But he suffered a couple of birdies down the stretch.

Even so, Holmes' 1-under total (click here for his scorecard) will mean that this week's event will not set a record for highest 36-hole score for the leader at the PGA Championship. Dave Stockton and Larry Hinson were co-leaders at even par at the 1970 PGA at Southern Hills.

Meanwhile, first-round co-leaders Jeev Milkha Singh and Robert Karlsson are having eventful second rounds. Singh, who started his day at the 10th hole, birdies two of his first three holes, but has now given those strokes back through his first six holes. Karlsson, playing in the group ahead of Singh, bogeyed his first four holes and has dropped off the leaderboard. -- Mike McAllister (2:35 p.m. ET)

CLARKE'S COLD PUTTER: After a promising tie for sixth at last week's World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational -- an event he won in 2003 -- Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke had high expectations coming into the PGA Championship.

Clarke
Clarke

Add those expectations to the confidence that came from being one of the big point-getters for the European Ryder Cup team at Oakland Hills in 2004 and one might have thought Clarke would be a serious contender this week. Instead, after rounds of 75-76, the jolly Ulsterman finished 36 holes at 11 over and will miss the cut.

"I didn't feel as if I played that badly at all but that is major championship golf, it's on the edge between getting good results and bad results and unfortunately things didn't go my way," Clarke said. "I had a cold putter all week and everybody is going to make mistakes around here and you have to make those 5- or 6- footers for par." -- T.J. Auclair (2:15 p.m. ET)

PADDY STRUGGLES: Two-time Open champion Padraig Harrington will have his work cut out for him this weekend if he's going to make it two major championships in a row.

Harrington
Harrington

Harrington, who successfully defended his Open title three weeks ago at Royal Birkdale, struggled Friday en route to a 4-over 74. His 36-hole total is 5-over 145 and five shots behind early second-round clubhouse co-leaders Ben Curtis and Charlie Wi.

"It was a struggle for me," Harrington said. "I did my best to be ready for the week but clearly I'm not. What can I say? The harder I tried the worse it got. I haven't got the focus this week. I'm just not with it. Obviously I'm still just having a hangover after winning The Open."

Even with his struggles over the first two days, Harrington is optimistic about the weekend.

"So I would love to think I could do something," he said. "And I was hoping I could today. I was hoping I could yesterday. I had a plan coming out today. I had a plan in my mind practicing a couple different things of what to do. But I think I need to spend 24 hours in bed now. I don't know. I really don't. The worst thing you can have is a struggle with your focus. It's tough to play like that.

"After 36 holes, with 36 to go, maybe, I'm trying, anyway," he added. "And you can see, you can see when I'm struggling to hold my attention and focus and that's a sign that your tired. And, yeah, maybe overnight I'll be better tomorrow. Who knows?" -- T.J. Auclair (1:45 p.m. ET)

ANOTHER 70 FOR WI: Charlie Wi continues to play like he's an old hand at these things, even though this is the first major of his career.

Wi
Wi

Wi's second-consecutive 70 puts him an even par for the tournament and sets him up nicely going into the weekend. In fact, considering how difficult Oakland Hills is playing, he may very well find himself in the final pairing Saturday afternoon. Wi is tied with Ben Curtis, who shot 3-under 67, for the clubhouse lead at 170.

"It's only the second round and I think the course is playing a lot more difficult today than yesterday," Wi said. "The wind's a lot harder. I know the guys playing in the afternoon, it's going to be very challenging for them."

Wi actually had a double bogey in each of the first two rounds, but managed to cancel them out with seven birdies overall. He comes into the PGA Championship having played some great golf already in 2008 with two top 10s, including a season-best tie for fourth at the John Deere Classic.

"Playing on the PGA TOUR prepared me for this week," Wi said. "I played well because I've been playing well so it's getting better every week. I know a lot of the guys and it just feels like another PGA TOUR event."

The fact that he had the first tee time on Friday morning at 7:30 a.m. ET made Wi believe that he might have an advantage on the rest of the field with calmer conditions. Turns out that wasn't the case.

"I thought that it was going to be good for us to go out but the wind started whipping when we got out there and the greens were not receptive either," he said. "So I thought maybe going out early it was going to be softer on the greens but that wasn't the case and the winds were pretty much blowing the same as they are now."

And while he's managed to at least hold his own against the Monster this week, Wi doesn't sound like a fan of Oakland Hills.

"When I got here on Tuesday, I called hom and I said, 'This is the hardest golf course I've ever played.' " Wi said. "So if I were to play here every day, I don't know if I would enjoy it. It's a very difficult golf course, no doubt about it. The greens are very undulated, very fast. It really tests your patience and you have to be on it every shot." -- T.J. Auclair (1:25 p.m. ET)

RECORD SAFE: With just six players in the morning wave in red numbers for the day right now -- and Ben Curtis' 3-under performance through 15 holes the best of the lot -- don't look for anyone to approach the low second-round score in PGA Championship history.

The five players below share that mark:

RoundPlayerYearCourse
63 (7 under)Bruce Crampton1975Firestone CC
63 (9 under)Gary Player1984Shoal Creek
63 (8 under)Vijay Singh1993Inverness
63 (7 under)Mark O'Meara2001Atlanta Athletic Club
63 (7 under)Tiger Woods2007Southern Hills

And the highest score? Well, Tom Dolby shot 22-over 94 in 2002 at Hazeltine Golf Club. -- Helen Ross (12:45 p.m ET)

APPLEBY MOVING UP: After shooting a first-round 6-over 76, Stuart Appleby is trying to climb back into contention. Through 14 holes, he's 1 under for his round, one of just six players currently under par for their second rounds in the morning group.

Appleby began his second round with birdies at the first two holes. He bogeyed the fifth hole, but followed with a birdie at the eighth to make the turn in 33. He answered another bogey at the 11th with a birdie at the 12th.

Appleby finished T4 in the 2000 PGA Championship at Valhalla but has not posted a top-10 finish in the event since then. (Click here for Appleby's scorecard.) -- Mike McAllister (12:30 p.m. ET)

ABOUT THAT PREVIOUS NOTE: Angel Cabrera just bogeyed the par-4 fourth hole (his 13th of the day). That drops him to even par, meaning no player currently on the course is under par for the tournament. But there are some players who are under par for their second rounds.

Of the 76 players in the morning group, just nine are under par for Friday's round, led by Ben Curtis (3 under) and Louis Oosthuizen (2 under). Seven others are at 1 under.

The question that could develop later in the day -- will the 36-hole leader finish under par? The highest 36-hole score by the leader of a PGA Championship came in 1970 when Dave Stockton and Larry Hinson were tied at even par atop the leaderboard at Southern Hills. -- Mike McAllister (11:44 a.m. ET)

LONELY FEELING: The 2007 U.S. Open champion, Angel Cabrera, currently is the only player on the golf course who is under par for the tournament (1 under). The other six players on the leaderboard who are under par all have afternoon tee times.

What are the odds that Cabrera can pull off a U.S. Open/PGA Championship double in consecutive years? Not great. Just three players in history have won the U.S. Open one year and the PGA Championship the next year: Jack Nicklaus (1962-63, 1972-73), Byron Nelson (1939-40) and Gene Sarazen (1922-23, 1932-33). -- Stewart Moore (11:33 a.m. ET)

COURSE COMMENTS: From the early reviews on the "Monster," Oakland Hills has not been as well received as Torrey Pines was for the U.S. Open. A few comments from the players ...

"In my opinion, it is too thick around the greens ... It takes the skill away from chipping. You don't need it. The course is 7,500 yards long, the greens are firm and the pins are tucked away. They are sucking the fun out of the major championships when you set it up like that." -- Lee Westwood

"It's a bit different. There's not too many of these old-style golf courses that we play that have undulated greens. There's quite a few tricky pin positions and they put them behind the greens and it's hard to get close and hard to putt one." -- Henrik Stenson

"It's a tough golf course. But it's set up perfect. It's just a tough test out there." -- Robert Karlsson

"It's like playing Scrabble without the vowels." -- Paul Goydos told the Detroit Free Press

"At the end of the day, it's what's fair and what's not fair. The setup here is pretty (lousy). It's not enjoyable to play. They have taken an OK golf course and turned it into a lot of crap. That's my opinion and I am sticking to it." -- Robert Allenby told the Detroit News

"It's a tough golf course, isn't it? It's the monster it is. It will be tough for the remainder of the week. I can't see it getting any easier." -- Ian Poulter -- Mike McAllister (11:15 a.m. ET)

HAAS IN THE HILLS: Jay Haas, who has won the last two Senior PGA Championships, knows Oakland Hills better than most after playing in four major events here.

Haas
Haas

He tied for seventh at the 1979 PGA Championship, shared 15th at the 1985 U.S. Open and was tied for 90th at the 1996 U.S. Open. He also posted a 1-2-1 record in the lopsided U.S. loss at the 2004 Ryder Cup.

As well as he knows Oakland Hills, though, the 54-year-old Haas, who has been the Champions Tour Player of the Year the last two seasons, was surprised by several things this week -- spike marks and accents.

"This is just a world tour now," said Haas, who had an eagle in his opening round of 73. "Every other guy -- it seems like over half the field is international players. And spike marks. There's only one or two guys that wear spikes on the Champions Tour.

"(Mike Hulbert) came out of the locker room his first event, and he was clacking. 'Whoa, whoa, whoa,' I said. 'Turn around, pal. Get back in there.' He said, 'What do you mean?' I said, 'We don't wear those out here. Get back in there.' So he went back and he hasn't worn them since." -- Helen Ross (10:45 a.m. ET)

LEADING SCORES: Only one other tournament on the PGA TOUR this season has seen a higher score for the 18-hole leaders than the 2-unders shot by Robert Karlsson and Jeev Milkha Singh in the first round at Oakland Hills. -- Stewart Moore (10 a.m. ET)

EventLeader(s)Score to par
British OpenAllenby, Mediate, McDowell1-under 69
PGA ChampionshipKarlsson, J. Singh2-under 68
EDS Byron Nelson Champ.Goggin, R. Moore, Axley3-under 67
U.S. OpenHicks, Streelman3-under 68
WGC-BridgestoneGoosen4-under 66
MastersImmelman, Rose4-under 68

EARLY WAKE-UP CALL: Andres Romero said the hardest part of having to finish his round Friday morning was "getting up."

Romero
Romero

Things didn't end as he had hoped, either, with a bogey at the 18th hole. But Romero still managed a solid 69 that left him one stroke off the lead.

He hit 8 of 14 fairways and 8 of 18 greens in regulation during the first round at Oakland Hills. A hot putter -- he used just 26 -- was another key.

"I had the advantage that I hit very good tee shots and didn't hit the rough very often," said Romero, who started his second round Friday morning just 45 minutes after finishing his first. "And when I hit from the rough, I made a putt, which was good. The rough was very tough and the greens are quick so you have to be patient and luckily I was."

The 27-year-old rookie from Argentina won his first PGA TOUR event earlier this year at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. -- Helen Ross (9:35 a.m. ET)

FIRST-ROUND SURPRISES: Now that the first round is officially over, here are the biggest surprises (both good and not-so-good):

* The Singhs: Who would've thought that it would be India's Jeev Milkha, not Fiji's Vijay, shooting 2-under 68 to become co-leader? And who would've thought it would be Vijay, not Jeev Milkha, who may have shot himself out of contention by shooting a 6-over 76?

* Charlie Wi. In the first round of his first major, the Korean-born Wi -- in his third season on the PGA TOUR -- shot even-par 70.

* Paul Azinger and Jay Haas. Playing in the same group, Azinger -- the 48-year-old U.S. Ryder Cup Captain -- shot 2-over 72 while the 54-year-old Haas was just one stroke back at 73.

* Lee Westwood. Big things were expected from the Brit this week, but his 77 may not even keep him in the field this weekend.

* Frank Esposito Jr. This head professional from Brooklake Country Club in Florham Park, N.J. was low club pro with a 1-over 71. He'll be aiming to better the T11 finish of Lonnie Nielsen in 1986, the best result by a club pro at the PGA Championship in 25 years. -- Helen Ross (9:24 a.m. ET)

ROMERO DONE: Andres Romero just completed his first round, bogeying the 18th hole to fall to 1-under and drop out of a tie for the first-round lead. With the first round now complete, that means Robert Karlsson and Jeev Milkha Singh will go in the record books as the official first-round leaders at 2 under.

That 2-under score is not the highest for any 18-hole leaders at the PGA Championship ... but it's close. Here are the highest scores for the 18-hole leader (relative to par) since the event went to stroke play in 1958. -- Mike McAllister (8:48 a.m. ET)

Highest leading scores after 18 holes
YearScorePlayersCourse
195969 (1 under)Nine playersMinneapolis CC
196869 (1 under)Eight playersNational Cash Register
196668 (2 underGeiberger, SneadFirestone
197268 (2 under)Allin, ThirskOakland Hills
197468 (2 under)Green, Floyd, SchleeTanglewood
200868 (2 under)Karlsson, J. SinghOakland Hills

WEATHER OUTLOOK: While a chance of rain is in the forecast for Friday's second round, any precipitation that falls is not expected to be as significant as the thunderstorms that delayed play for 85 minutes late in Thursday's first round.

That's the good news. The bads news is that the winds could pick up and if conditions stay dry, scores could skyrocket during the rest of the tournament.

According to Meteorlogix, mostly sunny skies are expected through midday with scattered clouds developing during the afternoon. A few isolated showers are possible late. Winds will be from the northwest at 10-15 mph, gusting to 20-25 mph.

Here's a breakdown of the forecast:

9 a.m. ET -- Partly to mostly cloudy, with scattered showers and thunderstorms. Winds from the northwest at 10-15 mph.

2 p.m. ET -- Partly sunny. Winds from the northwest at 10-15 mph, gusting to 20-25 mph.

6 p.m. ET -- Partly cloudy with an isolated rain shower possible; chance of precipitation is 10 percent. Winds from the northwest at 10-15 mph, gusting to 20-25 mph. -- Mike McAllister (8:34 a.m. ET)

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