Purtzer's front-side 33 was a steady, two-birdie affair, but the back-side 33 was a wild m�lange of four birdies, an eagle, three bogeys and a single par. The eagle was scored on Riviera's par-5 11th, a 559-yard straightaway crossed by a meandering barranca and bordered by towering eucalyptus and twisted sycamores. Purtzer hit a perfect drive and a perfect three-wood to reach the green, and then sank his 25-foot putt. He was tired at the end of the day, but he was having fun.
Purtzer had led. a tour event only once before. At Philadelphia last June he led or was tied for the lead for three rounds before his final 75 hurled him back into an eight-way tie for 12th. "Every time you're there it gets easier." he said late Saturday with a three-stroke lead over Wadkins and five over Bob Gilder, who had come on with a 68. "It's just a matter of time."
Tom Purtzer's time came Sunday. Mark it down, alongside Rik Massengale and Lietzke, because the nobodies are somebodies now. They are the new tour, and it looks as though they are going to be around for a while.