ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) Shortly after putting a dent into Oak Hill Country Club's stingy reputation, Mark O'Meara was offered a chance to play "what if?"
If someone offered O'Meara a pair of even-par 70s over the final two rounds of the 69th Senior PGA Championship, would he take it?
"I'd like my chances," he said. "I wouldn't have a problem."
O'Meara, with a tournament-low round of 4-under 66 on Friday, vaulted into contention in a confidence-ravaged field that's as tight as the 7,001-yard East Course's fairways.
At 2-over 142 for the tournament, O'Meara's in a tie for fourth with Bernhard Langer. They're two shots off the lead that's now held by Tom Purtzer, a six-year Champions Tour veteran, who sounded as surprised as anyone to find himself alone in first at even-par 140.
"Well, it was a lot more fun that it was yesterday," Purtzer said after his round of 3 under.
As for his thoughts on how Oak Hill's playing, Purtzer said: "To me, it's borderline too difficult."
Tell that to the other 83 players who managed to make the eye-popping cut of 12-over heading into the final two rounds of the $2 million tournament this weekend.
The cut was the highest at a Senior PGA since 1990, when it was set at 13 over at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Purtzer and O'Meara were among only eight players that have posted a sub-par round this week in a tournament that remains wide open with 26 players within 6 shots of the lead.
There's Jay Haas and Massy Kuramoto tied for second, 1 shot off the pace.
Local favorite Jeff Sluman, who grew up playing Oak Hill, is alone at 143. And then there's a 10-player logjam at 145 which includes Greg Norman, Scott Hoch and defending Senior PGA champion Denis Watson.
Norman shot a 73 and, perhaps, best summed up how the day went when asked to assess his round.
"I don't know how I felt," said Norman, who counted his fiancee, tennis champion Chris Evert, as part of his gallery. "I felt I could've been 3 shots better easily. But it's not to be the case."
Purtzer at least enjoyed some good results during a five-birdie, two-bogey round. Starting on No. 10, he fell to 2-over with a bogey on No. 5 before closing strong with a 12-foot putt for birdie on No. 7 and a 25-footer for birdie on No. 9.
"I just feel fortunate to be here," said Purtzer, who has posted only two top-10 finishes in 11 events this season. "I feel pretty good about what I'm doing, so we'll just see what happens."