Defending champion Rory McIlroy was on course to miss the cut at the Wells Fargo Championship yesterday.
The 22-year-old endured a bumpy ride at the US$6.5 million Professional Golf Association Tour event at the par-72 Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte but at least he showed his battling qualities.
After a first round score of three-over, McIlroy struggled from the outset, suffering bogeys on the first and third holes of his second round.
However, he steadied the ship, winning shots back with birdies on the fifth, seventh, 10th and 11th to go two-under for his round.
A bogey on the 12th brought him down to earth but he birdied the 15th and with the cut projected at level par, the Holywood man was on one-over going into the final few holes.
Padraig Harrington had more reason to smile with a four-under total through 14 holes.
American Lucas Glover leads the way on 11 under, one shot ahead of Bill Haas while Phil Mickelson was in the clubhouse one shot adrift.
Meanwhile, Tiger Woods looks set for a return from injury in time to play next week's Players Championship — golf's richest event — at Sawgrass in Florida.
The former world number one, down to seventh in the rankings after 18 months without a victory, has entered the £5.7million event often referred to as the sport's unofficial fifth major.
He missed the Wells Fargo Championship after suffering knee and Achilles problems.