KIAWAH ISLAND -- Back in March, on the top floor of Kiawah Island's Ocean Course clubhouse, Pete Dye submitted to a flurry of interview requests.
It was PGA Championship media day and Dye, the course architect, had already walked and played the 18 holes he shaped. But he answered all questions about his design and talked on a variety of golf topics. When most of the reporters cleared out, he sat down and removed his cap.
Dye said he knew people were going to ask him in August who he thought would win, and he wouldn't know what to tell them. Dye said the winner would depend on the conditions -- what the wind does and which direction it blows.
After two rounds of the 94th PGA Championship, Dye probably couldn't produce a better answer.
Players have seen the 7,600-yard layout at its easiest and most fierce, and the result is a logjam at the top.
Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh and Carl Pettersson are tied for the 36-hole lead, 4-under par for the tournament after having survived some of the toughest conditions at a major championship in the past decade.
Winds gusted to 30 mph, rocking flag sticks like metronomes and making the stretch of holes 10 to 14 a bear.
Players compared conditions to a British Open, except that the Ocean Course doesn't allow for bouncing a shot into the green. Spongy paspalum grass and rain throughout the week have taken the roll out of play.
"You've got to throw the ball in the air," Woods said. "That's what makes it so difficult, is that it's a linksy-type of feel in which you can't use the ground at all."
The leaderboard features an eclectic mix Dye might have imagined. There is the workhorse Singh -- at 49, trying to become the oldest to win a major -- who beat balls on the driving range long after posting a 3-under 69, the best round of the day. The portly Pettersson couldn't resist another joke at his expense Friday, boasting of his dedication in the gym after copping to a beer and ice cream diet en route to winning the RBC Heritage presented by Boeing back in April.
And then there's Woods, who finished 1-under 71 after a three-putt bogey on the last. Woods' adventure included a drive off the skyboxes left of No. 18 fairway. His ball settled into a trampled area and favorable lie, where he stuck his approach in the middle of the green. But an overly aggressive first putt cost him a chance for the lead alone at the halfway point.
Singh and Woods will play in the final paring today at 3 p.m.
"I know that putt runs away from me," said Woods, trying to win his first major title since the 2008 U.S. Open. "I charted it in my book, and I have the feel, and I still hit it too hard."
The scoring average Friday was 78.1, more than six shots over par and almost five shots more than Thursday, when the wind only whispered. It was the highest scoring round in PGA Championship history and the highest on the PGA Tour this year. It was the highest scoring average in a major since the final round of the 2004 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills.
Fourty-four players broke par the first round. Only 10 players remained under par after Friday. There were more rounds in the 90s Friday (2) than in the 60s.
"I thought 2 under today was probably like shooting 2 over yesterday," said Pettersson, who followed a 66 with a 74.
Singh made five birdies and two bogeys, including one on the par-3 14th, a hole that drew criticism from Singh after the round. The two-time PGA champion echoed Woods' thought that the Ocean Course wasn't playing like a links course, that there is no bailout.
"If it blows hard, I don't think we can handle this golf course as good," Singh said. "Yeah, sure, I shot 69, but if I had to go out there again, I don't know what I'm going to shoot."
Dye wouldn't know, either.
Note: Joost Luiten was the only player not to finish his second round. He will resume play on No. 18 at 7:30 a.m. today.