A slow start to the back nine has hampered Sergio Garcia in his efforts to catch the leaders midway through his second round at the US PGA Championship.
The Spaniard, whose opening 69 left him a shot adrift of Robert Karslsson and Jeev Milkha Singh overnight, got his second round off to a good start but he has since fallen back to one over par, two shots off the pace of clubhouse leader J B Holmes.
He collected a stroke at the par five second holes, but gave it back at the next before going on a run of six straight pars.
Back to back bogeys have since followed at the tenth and 11th holes to bring his score to two over par for the day, one over overall.
It leaves him level with Singh, who is currently three over for the day after 14 holes. The Indian, starting on the tenth, sandwiched birdies at the 11th and 12th with bogeys at the tenth and 13th before dropping further strokes at the 15th, 17th and 18th.
Karlsson, meanwhile, got off to a torrid start. He also started on the back nine and opened with four straight bogeys. A fifth followed at the 18th, while added dropped shots at the first and third leave him seven over for the day after 14 holes. He is five over par overall.
In the clubhouse, Holmes leads on one under par after a 68. His huge drives drew a lot of attention and afterwards he said: “I played great. I hit the ball well. I left a few putts out there, but overall, it was a very good ball striking round is probably the best way to describe it.
“I'm hitting the ball real well. If I can hit it like I did today, I really felt like I almost shot the highest score I could have shot today; I hit the ball that well.
“I hit the ball well yesterday, but it didn't really show it. I didn't hit very many greens. I had a lot of shots that were really good and just trickled over and I would have 20 feet from the hole but I was chipping all day.
“I'm hitting the ball good. I feel pretty good going into the weekend.”
Justin Rose is in a group of four players, including America’s Ben Curtis, at level par after he carded a fine 67.
“I'm ecstatic with that round of golf,” Rose said. “Three under par in those conditions was more than I could have hoped for. I know Ben Curtis shot three-under too but the average score today is going to be very, very high and guys are going to have a hard time this afternoon so I'm glad to be done.”
Ian Poulter, attempting to overtake Rose in the Ryder Cup standings, was one over par for his second round having opened with a three over 74 on Thursday but was angered by the course set-up and three particularly long par-three holes of 198, 238 and 257 yards.
“I drove it a little better and had more shots from the fairway which makes it a little easier but you are just trying not to bleed to death out there,” Poulter said.