Once again, Ray Floyd was under par.
While his second-round 69 today didn't require the book of records (as did Thursday's first-round 63), neither did it require the Book of Lamentations.
"I played well again. A few made putts and it might have been a 65 or 66," was how Floyd appraised it.
But Floyd was under siege today.
While he traipsed through the 64th PGA Championship at this par-70 Southern Hills Country Club today, dogleg after dogleg, he was hounded and hounded by Bob Gilder, the chipper chipper.
As Floyd sweated through a one-under-par round to improve to eight under overall, Gilder chased him with a two-under 68. When added to his 66 of Thursday, Gilder's 134 places him just two shots behind Floyd.
Gilder, who was playing two holes in front of Floyd, actually tied him at seven under with a birdie on No. 17. Then Gilder bogeyed No. 18. He remains one shot ahead of third-place Greg Norman and Jim Simons, both at five-under-par 135.
Meanwhile, the Names remained nomads. Tom Watson (141), in pursuit of his third 1982 Grand Slam victory, shot a 69. Jack Nicklaus (144) shot a par 70. Craig Stadler (141), the Masters winner, shot 70.
"I'm going to have to play better," said Watson, nine shots back. "I'm not doing anything well," said Nicklaus, 12 shots back. He made the cut by a shot.
"If someone like Ray Floyd drums you, well, then it's just their week," said Stadler, nine shots back, after his second round on the course and his third at the buffet lunch line. With both the Byron Nelson Classic and the Westchester Open in his victory pile this year, Gilder said he likes the leader board, the only known place where it's good to be in the (under-par) red. Said Gilder, "When I looked up there today, I was just thinking 'It's me and him. I'm in the hunt.' "
After his PGA Championship record 63 Thursday, a round sans bogeys, it seemed certain that Floyd had ended this PGA hunt with his accurate drives.
But the purity of Thursday turned into the problems of Friday for Floyd. He birdied three holes (Nos. 2, 9 and 16), bogeyed two (Nos. 3 and 13). His temper went awry and his shots astray when gallery cameras clicked while he was on the sixth tee and a soda can exploded in a nearby concession stand when he was on the 13th green. Both times, the noises came in midstroke.
Floyd said, "It was just such an upsetting and unsettling thing. I mis-hit the drive (on No. 6) and missed the putt (on No. 13)."
Meanwhile, the affable Gilder ("I may not be as saleable as (Lee) Trevino, but I'm as saleable as Nicklaus. I'm friendly. I smile. I can do a commercial, you think?"), birdied 16 and 17 aided by worthy chips, the first from grass, the second from sand.
The 31-year old from Corvallis, Ore., said, "I threw away a few more shots than I should have. But I'm still looking pretty good."
Early in the day, both Norman and Simons--the third-place tandem--were looking pretty good, too. Surprisingly, the morning was overcast and nearly cool today. Both Norman (66-69) and Simons (68-67), with early tee times, carried the cool to third place.
Norman reached six under, then bogeyed the unforgiving 16th. "In England and Japan, you can get away with a few bad shots," Norman said globally and glumly.
Simons, who won this year's Crosby, had perhaps the finest round of the day, if not in score (Jay Haas and Gil Morgan shot 66s to claim that distinction), then in scrap. After bogeying the first two holes, slipping back to even par, Simons played five under. On this course, it isn't easy.
"When I had a chance to put an iron in close today, I did," he said.
There is more than a difference of two strokes between Gilder and Floyd. There also is a difference of philosophy. What about the pressure of a major?
"I just forget about it. A golf shot is a golf shot, no matter," said Gilder, who never has won a major.
"It's something I like. Those who can't handle pressure won't be too successful," said Floyd, who won the 1969 PGA and the 1976 Masters.
The course has made its painful incisions for two days. Then the official cuts came today. With a 145 cutoff point, off to history went Gary Player (146), defending champion Larry Nelson (149) and Tom Weiskopf (149), who, after mis-hitting an iron on hole No. 7 Thursday tossed the club into the trees.
Then there was the cut of 52-year old Arnold Palmer (150), who still has never won a PGA Championship. After his 74-76 showing that was witnessed by an Army bigger than Serbia's in World War I, Palmer signed autographs for a group of Tulsa policemen in the locker room. He even signed an oil can. He quipped, "Can't stick around, fellas. Got to go home and go to work. Got to make money. I'm not going to do it playing golf."