Old UCLA teammates, Pernice and Waldorf, playing together again
RENO — Before Tom Pernice Jr. even started his round on Friday at the Reno-Tahoe Open, he was happy. That’s because he saw goofy Duffy Waldorf was in his playing group, along with Michael Clark III.
Pernice and Waldorf were teammates at UCLA in the 1980s. Pernice was a senior and Waldorf a wide-eyed freshman. Waldorf has won four events on the PGA Tour since graduating in 1985 with a degree in psychology. But along the way, he has also turned himself into a fan favorite with his colorful clothing choices.
Pernice never noticed anything odd about Waldorf’s wardrobe back in the day or saw any pressing need to help him with his golf game. Waldorf’s eating habits, tough, was a completely different story.
“All I know is he used to eat 1/2 gallon of ice cream every night and I told him he can’t be doing that,” Pernice said about Waldorf, listed at 6-foot and 225 pounds.
But whatever connection happened in their college days, it certainly helped with both players’ scores during second round play at Montreux Golf and Country Club. Pernice started the day one shot back of first-round leader Charles Howell III, then shot a 4-under 68 to get himself into a tie for the lead with a Steve Flesch at 10-under. Waldorf, who started the day at 4-under, shot a 5-under 67 to work himself into a tie for second with Jonathan Kaye at 9-under.
“My two wins (on tour), I’ve had great people to play with,” said Pernice, who won the 1999 Buick Classic and 2001 International. “For me, that’s important. I like to relax and enjoy myself out there.”
FLESCH DIGGIN’ ON RTO
Co-leader Steve Flesch, who has played the Reno-Tahoe Open ever year, has improved his score each year. In 1999, the tournament’s first year, he tied for 50th with a four-day total of 288. In 2000, he tied for seventh with a 270 and last year he tied for tenth with a 277. His knowledge of the tricky greens is the main reason for the improvement.
“I guess pretty well,” said Flesch about how he manages the greens. “It’s more than anything the experience of playing here for the fourth year, invaluable course knowledge you pick up.”
TWO ACES FIRED
There two aces in the second round on Friday. Tom Byrum holed on the 167-yard par-3 16th. Pat Perez aced the 210-yard par-3 7th. Byrum finished with a 68 on Friday and is at 4-under for the tournament, Perez, a dark horse to win the RTO, shot a 1-over 73 and his 5-over for the tournament and missed the cut.
PUTT OF THE DAY
Pete Jordan made a 44-foot par-saving putt on No. 16. Jordan shot an even par 72 on Friday and with his 74 from Thursday, failed to make the cut at 2-over.
UNLV’S RILEY GETS HOT
Chris Riley, who finished third at last week’s PGA Championship, fired a 6-under 66 to get to 7-under for the tournament. The 1996 UNLV grad is three shots back of lead after going into today’s third round.