Greg Chalmers stayed on top of the leaderboard Friday, firing a second-round 67 to build a two-shot lead in the U.S. Bank Championship.
A day after blustery conditions made the field post the worst scores in a round since 2004, no one passed the smooth putting, left-handed Australian who was nicknamed "Snake" by friends as a play off his last name. After an opening-round 64, Chalmers was at 9-under 131.
While Chalmers charmed, fellow first-round leader Jeff Klauk shot a 69 to finish two strokes behind along with Chris Riley (66) and Kris Blanks (63). Kevin Na (65), Marc Turnesa (65) and Steve Flesch (65) were another stroke back at 6 under.
Temperatures plunged into the 60s and rain showers made it feel closer to the British Open at Turnberry than summertime in the Midwest at a tournament that's looking for a new title sponsor to return next year.
Chalmers again made a mistake early, this time after starting his day at No. 10. He bogeyed the par-3 14th after his wayward tee shot left him needing a 12-foot putt to make par. But, just like Thursday's opening round, Chalmers came on strong with birdies at Nos. 17 and 18. He also had consecutive birdies at Nos. 4 and 5 for the second straight day.
"It was a bit of a battle for me off the tee today, but it was a working-man's 3 under," he said.
The working man mentality should serve him well this weekend after changing conditions continued on Friday, keeping scores down and the cut line at 1-over 141.
The 35-year-old Chalmers, who started playing golf at age 13 and idolized Greg Norman, and the rest of the field dealt with stiff wind and warm temperatures on Thursday and said he'd only brought one sweater with him for the tournament.
"You don't expect it in the summertime," said Riley, who also only has one sweater with him for the tournament. "The weather is totally different today."
Norman won this tournament in 1989, and Chalmers is on the right track after needing just one putt on 21 of the 36 holes he's played.
"I made most putts inside 10 feet," Chalmers said. "At this level, if you're going to lead the tournament or be competitive, you've got to make them."
Chalmers only has two career Nationwide wins, but he's led at this point of a PGA tour event before. In 2000 at the Nissan Open, he struggled down the stretch and ultimately finished tied for 18th.
Meanwhile, Klauk didn't have nearly the same success as Friday. He was 1 over through his first nine holes and needed to rally to stay two shots back. Still, Klauk likes his position heading into the weekend.
"You can't overpower this golf course," he said. "Anybody can play. It's just a good, old-style golf course."
One that might not return next year. U.S. Bank is dropping its title sponsorship and tournament organizers say a new one must be found to continue the shortest event on tour at the 6,759-yard, par-70 Brown Deer Park Golf Course.
Na is 20th in FedExCup standings this year and is the highest ranked player in Milwaukee.
"That only means one thing _ I need to win," Na said. "That's what I need on my resume is a W out here. A win's a win even though it's an opposite field event."
Na, who is here with his parents this week, was in Chalmers' group and the two worked off each other's putting.
"We're both playing well, watching putts go in the hole was a good visual for us," Na said. "I should definitely be in contention."
Meanwhile, Blanks, a 36-year-old tour rookie, shot the best round of the tournament so far with a 7-under 63 to pull into a tie with Klauk and Riley for second.