Romero took advantage of the smoother morning conditions to post the round's best score. He was a stroke ahead of Naomichi "Joe'' Ozaki (69) and two in front of Beck (70).
Romero had birdies on all four par 5s and looked like he'd have a bogey-free performance until missing a short par putt on No. 18. "Stupid on that,'' Romero said. "But it is OK because the day was perfect ... very nice.''
Bryant also liked his round, mainly because he and caddie, Tony Smith, spent their practice time measuring how far Bryant's short irons would fly against the wind. That helped Thursday, Bryant said, because the course puts a premium on precise approaches.
"Today, it was just brutal,'' Bryant said. "No matter how good you drove the ball, you had to hit just an almost perfect iron shot to get the ball pin high on some of those holes.''
If the wind slackens, Bryant reasons, he might score even lower than he did in the opening round.
"I knew that if I could keep the same rhythm that I had'' in practice, Bryant said. "I knew how far the ball was going to go, which was pretty key today.''
Bryant, though, had one suggestion for the PGA of America. "I have a good friend that works at NASA and he said that maybe next year we could just go ahead and have the tournament in Houston in the wind tunnel,'' he said.