TULSA, Okla. &
Graeme Storm has played his share of tournaments in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. He spent a winter cleaning trays at a cake factory to scrape up money for Christmas gifts.
So when the Tulsa sun started baking down Thursday afternoon and the pressure of the PGA Championship started ramping up, Storm didn't let it bother him.
Heat is all relative to a guy like him.
After shooting 5-under 65 in the opening round, Storm was holding onto a one-stroke lead through four holes Friday morning over an equally unlikely &
but much better known &
player. the name of John Daly.
"I have no idea," Daly said when asked where this unexpected round came from.
Storm wasn't pressing the issue either.
A journeyman on the European tour, Storm still needed a special invite from the PGA to make it to Southern Hills despite getting his first big league win earlier this year. Having made it, he got through the kiln-like day without a bogey.
Quite a surprise given the 18-over par the Englishman shot last week in the Bridgestone Invitational.
"I thought, well, just enjoy the moment and play golf," Storm said. "Enjoy it. That's what we're here for."
Storm had the first tee time of the day Friday, but despite playing in calm conditions, and before the weather got too hot, he didn't play a shot from the fairway until his third on the par-4 third hole. He made two bogeys to fall into a tie with Daly, then came back with a pretty approach shot to six feet on No. 4 for a birdie that got him to 4 under.
Daly and Tiger Woods each had afternoon tee times, when temperatures were expected to rise past 100 for the second straight day.
On Thursday, an unpredictable breeze did little to cool things off, but did wreak some havoc on Woods' game. The world's best player shot a 1-over 71, six strokes off the lead, and said he couldn't judge the wind once it started swirling on his second nine.
"I felt like I hit the ball better than my score indicates," said Woods, the Bridgestone winner. "Every time I missed, I missed ever so slightly in the wrong spot. That's how it goes."
Phil Mickelson, recovering from a wrist injury and seeking to make the cut for the first time in a major since the Masters, opened with a 73. He had three bogeys on the back nine.
"I was certainly disappointed with the way it finished up," he said.
Nobody had it worse than U.S. Open champion Angel Cabrera, who hit two shots out of bounds on No. 6, then another into the water, and on and on, until his score and Bo Derek had something in common &
both were "10s."
"I had a bad hole, hit bad shots, made 10 and that was it," the Argentine explained through his caddie, Eddie Gardino, after shooting an 81.
Nobody, however, knows the vagaries of golf better than Daly. He took the sport by storm at this tournament in 1991, winning as the ninth alternate without even the benefit of a practice round at Crooked Stick.
Now, he skips practice by choice. He spent the early part of the week at the Cherokee Casino playing slots. No use in using up all his energy too soon in this kind of weather.
"There were odds with all the caddies and players this week on who would fall first, me or my caddie," Daly said. "But we made all 18 holes."
Daly's method for beating the heat is lighting up a cigarette and drinking diet cola.
"It actually works," he said.
His course management style was, well, Dalyesque, but he got away with it.
He cranked a driver deep into the woods on No. 12 &
an unwise club choice given the shape of the hole and how far he hits it &
and seemed to be in big trouble. But after carefully measuring off his yardage, he hit a wedge that flew under one tree and over another and landed the ball 20 feet from the hole to save par.
On the short par-4 17th, he took out driver, then exchanged it for a safer 2-iron to make par. But on 18, he inexplicably hit driver and got lucky when the ball landed on a small slice of fairway that bisects a bunker and a stream. He made par there, too.
Think Daly will ever apologize for hitting driver? Think again.
"If I'm going to make a big score, I'd rather make a big score being aggressive than being conservative," he said.
Stormy day for Storm leaves Daly in lead
TULSA, Okla. &