The tournament began under storm clouds on Thursday when a morning rain halted play for 50 minutes as temperatures plummeted. Allen Miller, who looks like the tour's 2,000-year-old man, and Pat Meyers shot a five-under-par 67 to tie Couples and Stephenson for the first-round lead. Someone asked if Miller-Meyers might be intimidated by the big names with whom they were even, since Miller and Meyers had only two victories between them in their combined 23 years as pro golfers. Miller, who's only 36, screwed up his Yoda face and said, "If Jack Nicklaus is on my tail, it doesn't bother me."
In the next round, it was like day and night for the A.M.-P.M. team. They shot a 72, which was matched by Couples-Stephenson, who seemed ready to consider a trial separation after they had four-putted the 12th and then three-putted the 13th to fall off the leader board. Glare-counterglare.
The 36-hole leaders were Bill Kratzert and Cathy Morse with 70-64-134, three shots better than Stadler-Garbacz, Norris-Palmer and Larry Mize and Martha Nause. Kratzert recently rediscovered his game after three years of frustration. "He's hitting these unbelievable shots," Morse gushed. "He's like Mr. Cool out there." Six times in the second round, Morse rolled in birdie putts after Kratzert had rifled iron shots close to the pin.
Saturday was warm and sunny, perfect for scoring, and the leader board dripped red numbers. Stadler and Garbacz took the lead at 15 under with a 64 that was surprising because they spent most of their time in trouble. Three times Garbacz went in the water, and once the Walrus dunked a shot, but when one made a mistake, the other came through, which is the idea in team competition. "We made something out of not much today," said Stadler.
But by Sunday, Stadler and Garbacz had run out of luck, and Donald and Alvarez had run into it. They'd met only last week—a mutual friend, former golf pro Gardner Dickinson, introduced them—and it proved a propitious union, especially since Alvarez holed five birdie attempts in the last round.
Asked what kind of a week it had been, Donald summed up: "Best blind date I ever had."