China’s Liang Wen-chong set a new course record, while Martin Kaymer and Rory McIlroy also kept their hopes very much alive at the US PGA Championship finally made up for lost time.
After long fog delays on the first two days it was all systems go at Whistling Straits - for those who survived the halfway cut, that is.
Padraig Harrington, Luke Donald and Justin Rose were among the notables who failed to do that, Harrington double-bogeying the last this morning to miss by one, and all three could be left needing Ryder Cup wild cards as a result.
But McIlroy, with 36 holes completed on Friday in five under par, birdied three of his first five holes and after a slip on the eighth picked up the pace again on the back nine.
Further birdies at the tenth and 13th took the 21 year old Northern Irishman to nine under and into a share of second place with German Kaymer, American duo Dustin Johnson and Bryce Molder, young Australian Jason Day and also China's Liang, who shone with a sparkling 64.
They were, however, three behind Nick Watney, who was himself five under for the day with six to play.
Five of the last six Majors have been captured by players without a Major title to their names and the 29 year old American, who needs a top four finish to have a chance of a Ryder Cup debut, took charge with five birdies in his first seven holes as halfway pacesetter Matt Kuchar faltered.
Earlier Harrington had made a brilliant recovery from his opening 75, but all the hard work was undone when, distracted by a photographer, he hit his second shot into the hazard short of the 18th green.
From there he took a penalty drop, pitched ten feet past the flag and missed the bogey putt.