RENO - If you try to fight the game of golf, you lose. That's what Jesper Parnevik found out earlier this year.
"I felt I was playing fairly well (earlier in the year) and nothing was happening," Parnevik said after shooting a second-round 67 at the 7th annual Reno-Tahoe Open Friday afternoon. "I was finishing 35th every week. I couldn't make any putts. If you fight it, it gets worse.
"I decided to take two months off and start from scratch. I went to Sweden and didn't play hardly at all."
Parnevik, who has two Top-20 finishes - tied for 11th at the FBR Open back in February with a 7-under 277 and a tie for 18th at the Byron Nelson Championship in mid-May with a 7-under 273 left the tour after a disappointing two rounds at the Booz Allen Classic in mid-June.
Parnevik returned for the International two weeks ago, but missed the cut. He fared much better at last week's PGA Championship, finishing tied for 28th with a 4-over-par 284.
So, Parnevik came to the Reno-Tahoe Open with high hopes despite not having ever played Montreux Golf & Country Club before. It hasn't mattered.
Parnevik has a 36-hole total of 135, which is just two shots off the RTO record of 133 held by John Cook and Corey Pavin.
"I'm definitely happy with the way I played today,' Parnevik said in the interview room. "I can't say I was pleased with the way I played yesterday. The front nine I could have easily been 4 over par and then I had six birdies on my back. If I putted like I did today last week, I would have won.
"When I got here, I listened to everybody. They said the ball would break toward the valley. After nine holes of that, I went back with what the putt looked like. Some still break completely different than what it looks like. You have to go with your instinct and don't let it bother you when you misread one."
Parnevik said it made a difference playing in the morning compared to playing in the afternoon like he did Thursday.
"It was a huge difference," Parnevik said. "It (the wind) was blowing really hard (Thursday). It was 21 degrees this morning. You had to hit 10 percent more instead of 10 percent less (because of the altitude)."
Parnevik grinded out six straight birdies to open his second round before breaking through for a birdie on the par-3 220-yard 7th hole. Parnevik almost aced the hole. The tee shot lipped the cup and stopped 6 inches away. On the 616-yard par-5 9th, Parnevik's third shot rolled past the flag by 12 feet, but he rebounded and made the putt.
His next birdie came on the par-5 584-yard 11th when he sank a 12-footer. After four straight pars, Parnevik birdied the 183-yard 16th when he hit a 9-iron to 6 feet and drained the putt.
Darrell Moody can be reached at email@example.com, or by calling (775) 881-1281