Graeme McDowell was rising to the challenge of the US Open Championship once again in San Francisco.
The 2010 champion - he was the first European winner of the title since Tony Jacklin in 1970 - moved into second place on his own with back-to-back birdies at The Olympic Club.
McDowell found the target from nearly 30 feet at the short 15th, his seventh hole of the second round, and when a 12 footer went in on the next - reduced from 670 yards to 609 - he was up to two under par.
That put the 32 year old only two strokes behind overnight leader Michael Thompson, who was among the day's later starters.
Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts was also making a big move.
Four over par after three holes of his opening round, The European Tour’s longest hitter battled back to level par with birdies at the ninth, 16th and 18th, the latter from 12 feet.
Justin Rose and Ian Poulter, who teed off again one under and level par, both dropped a stroke at the 428 yard second and when Rose also bogeyed the fifth - his first three shots all finished in deep rough - they were both one over and joint 12th.
Lee Westwood, playing with Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy in a clash of the world's top three, was only one behind them - and one under for the day - until he bogeyed the 18th.
In the left-hand rough for the second day running, Westwood came up short of the green in sand, sent his recovery nine feet past the flag and missed the slippery downhill putt to slide to three over.
McDowell, whose victory two years ago came down the Californian course at Pebble Beach, had said after his opening 69: "I've always enjoyed the US Open, even before I won.
"It really rewards placement off the tee, just hanging tough, staying patient, placing your iron shots, chipping, putting. Really it's golf's toughest test.
"You want to get a little bit of momentum early this week if you can, because if you let this golf course beat you up early in the week it will just continue to do that.
"I've just got to keep grinding."
He did more than that, but the hardest holes were still to come.
Tiger Woods, who matched the first day 69s of McDowell and Rose, was another afternoon starter along with copmpatriot David Toms and was doubtless hoping the wind did not pick up too much.
McDowell did well to escape with a bogey on the 520 yard par four first. He had to chop out of the rough, left himself a really testing par putt and made a ten footer coming back.
That putt kept his spirits up and when an 18 foot birdie putt went in on the short third he was back to two under.
McDowell knew there was every chance of him leading at the end of the day if he could keep things going, but instead he bogeyed the fifth and then dropped another by failing to get up and down from sand at the next.
At level par he was tied for fourth with playing partner Jim Furyk, but none of the three ahead of them - Thompson, Woods and Toms - had teed off again yet.
Westwood, Rose and Poulter all stood four over, but at ten over and 11 over it looked all over for Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald.