Jeff Sluman and Jonathan Byrd were tied for the lead at the Chrysler Championship, both knowing the tournament really doesn't start until the weekend.
For Paul Azinger, Olin Browne and a host of others, their season ended yesterday.
Sluman was eight shots worse than his course-record 62 in the opening round, missing a half-dozen good looks at birdie but still playing solidly from tee to green for a 1-under-par 70 in Palm Harbor, Fla. Byrd blitzed the back nine for the second straight day and shot another 66.
"Some days it's easy, and some days it's a little more difficult," said Sluman, who never had the lead to himself in the second round and wound up tied with Byrd at 10-under 132 in the final full-field tournament of the year.
Vijay Singh, moving closer to a $10 million year, had a 69 and was only two shots behind.
"You certainly shouldn't be surprised to see Vijay up there," Sluman said of the No. 1 player in golf who is going for his sixth victory in his last eight starts.
Also at 8-under 134 were International winner Rod Pampling (65) and Tommy Armour III (64).
The real shock was Azinger, No. 123 on the money list, who opened with a 75. He got to 1 under, but missed the green on the par-3 8th, his 17th hole, and took a bogey. On his final hole, he missed a 12-foot par putt, finishing with a 68 and missing the cut by one shot.
Azinger walked briskly out of the scoring trailer and screamed in disgust.
"You hate to see that," said Sluman, who played with Azinger. "I'm sure he'll beat himself up over that."
Browne, No. 125 on the money list, shot a 77. Among those missing the cut was Masters champion Phil Mickelson after a 76.
* LPGA TOUR: Carin Koch of Sweden and South Korea's Grace Park both shot a 6-under 66s, taking the lead after the first round of the Nine Bridges Classic in Cheju Island, South Korea.
Koch, looking for her second LPGA Tour victory, fired four straight birdies to start the day.
Park bogeyed the 13th but birdied the 16th and 18th to tie for the lead.
Trailing Koch and Park were Jill McGill of the United States and England's Karen Stupples, who both shot 5-under 67s.
Annika Sorenstam of Sweden shot four birdies and three bogeys to finish at 1-under 71.
* EUROPE: Sergio Garcia recovered from a poor start and survived a rules scare, closing the second round with two birdies for a 2-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Volvo Masters in Sotogrande, Spain.
Garcia feared he might be disqualified for playing a provisional ball on the 196-yard third hole at Valderrama, not realizing his original tee shot had been found in the trees.
Chief referee John Paramor reviewed what happened for 30 minutes after the round before letting the score stand.
Garcia's two birdies at the end put him at 6-under 136, one shot clear of Alastair Forsyth (69). Ian Poulter had a 67 and was another shot back.