Ben Curtis fired a five under par 67 in the second round to move into a four-way share of the lead at the halfway stage in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Florida.
Curtis, the 2003 Open Champion, recovered well after starting his round with two bogeys, hitting five birdies in seven holes between ten and 16 to sit on seven under for the tournament.
He was joined by fellow Americans DJ Trahan and Davis Love III and South Africa’s Ernie Els.
Trahan shot a 68, Els a 69 and Love III a 71.
Three birdies in the opening five holes set Trahan on his way, while Els, having been two over for his round after seven, birdied six of the last 11, including 17th and 18th, to get right back in the hunt.
Love III had a round that included seven birdies, with three in a row at 15th, 16th and 17th, and six bogeys.
Two more Americans, Kevin Na and Phil Mickelson, and South Africa’s Retief Goosen were a shot further back from the leaders.
Mickelson and Goosen both fired 67s, the former’s round featuring an eagle on the par four eighth, and Na a 70.
JB Holmes, who held a share of the lead after the first day, endured a tough second round as he sought a top-four finish which would keep his chances of securing a place at the Masters alive.
The American double-bogeyed the seventh and 13th on the way to a two over 74 which left him four under overall.
Holmes was one of eight players on four under, including World Number two Steve Stricker who shot a 71.
Colin Montgomerie fired a 71 to sit one under overall.