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Taste of Medinah in second round

8/18/2006 - Golf

MEDINAH, Ill. -- Strange day at the PGA Championship. OK, not as strange as Tuesday, when rumors ran rampant that John Daly had died. Usually when Daly kicks the bucket, he just gets buffalo wing sauce all over the floor. But anyway …

So many stories, so little time -- or so the saying goes. I actually wrote five different articles about the second round, but you know how limited the Internet is these days -- there just wasn't enough space to publish them all. Instead, here is a sampling of the day's competition. Call it a Taste of Medinah.

Friendly round for Tiger and Phil
Other than golf and a couple of annual ping-pong games, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson don't really have much in common. Tiger is indomitable. Phil is ebullient. Tiger is chiseled. Phil is doughy. Tiger is bench presses, four-mile jogs and protein. Phil is piggyback rides, four-hour naps and Twinkies.

Together, they are professional golf's version of the Odd Couple, but unless Tom Lehman forces them to become bunkmates at the K Club, 36 holes at Medinah will be as close as they'll come to spending quality time together anytime soon.

Then again, perhaps opposites really do attract. Upon completion of their round, Tiger granted a TV interview despite uncomfortable rain. Ever the gentleman, Phil held an umbrella above his head, the two men chuckling as he did so. After that? Presumably they walked off the course together arm-in-arm, newfound BFFs. Best Friends Forever.

Herron's in sweet position
Forget Best Player To Never Win A Major. Tim Herron isn't even close. However, he is the frontrunner for Best Player To Never Win A Major Who Has Jumped Out Of A Birthday Cake On A Television Commercial.

We've checked the records and no major champion has been nicknamed Lumpy, either, though he'd still have to battle it out for best moniker with 1874 British Open winner Mungo Park. It's a fight Herron would be willing to lose if it means he'll be holding the Wanamaker Trophy come Sunday night, a very real possibility now that he is tied for the lead with three other players at 8-under.

Herron's already won half the battle. He missed the cut in this event six times in the last seven years, so just reaching the weekend is icing on the cake. Now let's see if he jumps through this one, too.

Stenson sees the light
Henrik Stenson would make one heckuva cat burglar. He's a ghost. Elusive. Cagey. A shadowy figure lurking in the night, who best does his job while others are sleeping.

OK, so Stenson may not be playing golf under cover of darkness, but for U.S. fans he remains a dangerous stranger, oft-concealed in the nether regions of Europe and Asia. If you want to catch him in the act, you'll usually have to stay up late or wake up early, as the SuperSwede competes almost exclusively on the European Tour. For now, that is.

"I'm thinking about coming over and playing a little bit more [in the U.S.], so trying to find a base," said Stenson, who recently scouted the Orlando area.

Such a move may blow his cover. Then again, a share of the 36-hole lead at Medinah may have done just that anyway.

Sergio could make major move
The last time we saw Sergio Garcia at Medinah, he was 19 years old, sprinting and scissors-kicking his way to a second place finish at the 1999 PGA Championship.

Seven years later, he's still chasing something, that elusive major championship that is yet to fall into his grasp. When asked if his position on the leaderboard -- a two-day total of 5-under 139 leaves him in a share of 12th place -- is admirable, he seemed less than tickled.

"Well, [the] best position I could be is if I was at 12- or 13-under," Garcia said.

That's grandiose talk from a guy who's beginning to make a career of falling short in these things, but after thinking about it, he did acquiesce. "Yeah, I'm in a decent position," he said. "No doubt about it." And no doubt he'll be sprinting after another chance to win the PGA this weekend.

Siblings unrivaled
Jerry Haas had him. The guy he's been chasing for so long, the man with nine PGA Tour victories, millions of dollars in the bank and a name so close to his own, yet so much more familiar to golf fans around the world. His brother. Jay.

This was sibling rivalry at its best. Jerry, 43, dusted Jay, 10 years his elder, with a first-round 74 that gave him a one-shot lead entering Friday. Playing together, baby bro had Jay in his sights until, uh, "he ended up beating me and picking up 13 shots on 12 holes." So much for the underdog story, as Jay finished with a 68, Jerry a 79.

No love was lost between the brothers. Though some may have been gained.

"It was awesome," Jerry said. "It was great playing with him."

Jason Sobel is ESPN.com's golf editor. He can be reached at Jason.Sobel@espn3.com