POTOMAC - Jack Nicholson was a lock to play the role of the curmudgeon who has a turn for the better in the Academy Award-winning film "As Good As It Gets," but PGA Tour veteran Bill Glasson wouldn't have been a half-bad second choice.
Glasson, 40, has played on the tour for 17 years, won this tournament twice, and comes to the 2000 Kemper Insurance Open sporting a blond mustache and a grizzled outlook on life.
Glasson, who frequently flies his own plane to tour events, has had surgery for a detached forearm muscle, numerous elbow operations, four sinus operations, four knee surgeries and lip surgery. And his airplane has been struck by lightning. But Glasson says the fact that he's had to fight so much adversity has actually kept him interested in his job.
"It's almost a blessing in disguise, to be honest," he said after posting his second-straight 68, which leaves him in a tie for eighth place. "I get bored very easily, and [being injured is] just part of the fun of trying to overcome something. I've played the last three or four months without anything hurting and it's been just terrible."
During the 1991 season, in the midst of his various ailments, Glasson considered filing for permanent disability because of severe back problems. But, like all the other times, he pulled through and won the Kemper Open in 1992.
"I'd be a worse golfer healthy," he said. At the moment, Glasson is battling a pulled muscle in his neck.
The scores rose along with the heat yesterday, as players struggled to keep their shirts dry and their minds focused in the midst of heavy humidity.
After the first round, with cooler temperatures and softer greens, 70 of the 156 players were at even par or lower. Yesterday, after 154 entrants (two withdrawals) had traipsed through the greens for the second straight day, only 50 players broke par for their second round.
"These greens are [made of] poa annua so they have a tendency to show the wear more," said Frank Nobilo, who shot 1-under 70 and sits in a tie for 12th place.
Former University of Maryland golf coach Fred Funk followed his first-round 74 with a 70 and missed the cut. It's the Laurel native's fourth missed cut in the past six years at Avenel.
Steve Madsen, a qualifier from Rockville, also won't play the weekend after 76-73-149. Defending champion Rich Beem couldn't rediscover his magic of a year ago, finishing with a 36-hole total of 144.