Tiger Woods and his closest rivals were bracing themselves for another difficult day at Hazeltine National as they prepared for the third round of the US PGA Championship.
High temperatures and gusting winds at the Minnesota course made for a challenging second round as Woods opened up a four stroke lead at seven under par over the field with a two under 70.
With another windy day in progress at the 7,674 yard layout near Minneapolis, the longest course in Major Championship history, there was also a possibility of thunderstorms disrupting the leaders as they got their rounds under way.
“You have to place your golf ball around the golf course,” Woods said last night. “You've got to play and execute and tomorrow is supposed to be just as windy, so again, another day of executing and being very patient.”
Woods leads a five man group on three under containing defending champion Padraig Harrington, US Open Championship winner Lucas Glover, England's Ross Fisher, Australian Brendan Jones and two-time winner Vijay Singh, who was set to join the World Number One in the final pairing.
England's Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter were a shot further back at two under par with South African Ernie Els, Denmark's Søren Kjeldsen, Germany's Martin Kaymer and Korean Y E Yang all at one under.
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, Australian Geoff Ogilvy and American Kenny Perry were in a large group at level par, as was US 2010 Ryder Cup Captain Corey Pavin.
The wind was blowing early at Hazeltine as the back markers among the 80 players to have made the halfway cut negotiated their third rounds.
American Steve Flesch had made the most progress, three under for the day to get to even par after six holes while Open Championship winner Stewart Cink improved to one over par with a birdie at the par four second.
Kjeldsen opened with back to back birdies and moved to three under, and Stephen Ames reached two under with three birdies in his first seven holes.
Spain's Alvaro Quiros was going the right way about making amends for a second round 76 with his second birdie of the day at the par four tenth to get back to one under.
Henrik Stenson of Sweden was one under for his round after five holes, one under for the tournament and Graeme McDowell also had an early birdie to get to level par after nine holes.
Kaymer double bogeyed the par four second hole to drop to one over, where Retief Goosen finished his day's work with the low clubhouse round of 70.