Simon Dyson produced one of the rounds of the morning as a three under par 67 at Royal Lytham and St Annes took him into red figures at the halfway stage.
It was only the fourth sub-par round among the first dozen groups on a tough morning on the Lancashire Coast after heavy overnight rain.
Dyson, who finished tied ninth in The Open last year at Royal St Georges, dropped a shot early on the third but made no mistakes thereafter and picked up four birdies, including a chip in on his penultimate hole to climb into the top 20 of the leaderboard.
“It was really tough to start with,” said the six time European Tour champion. “We played all the front nine into the wind. And then as we turned and got on about 11 or 12, it turned back into us again. So we played pretty much three quarters of the round into the wind today.”
Yesterday Dyson played three iron, wedge into the eighth but into this morning’s wind the clubbing was up to a driver, nine iron.
After birdieing the seventh from three feet, he holed from 15 feet on the ninth and then admitted he got lucky on the 11th when he left his second shot in the rough after a wayward drive but played a bump and run to 30 feet and holed for a birdie. And after chipping in on 17, he had a chance for a fifth birdie of the round on the last after an approach he described as his best of the day finished ten feet from the hole but the birdie putt missed on the low side.
“Very pleased with it,” he said. “I played nicely today. I scrambled very well yesterday but I managed to get the ball in the positions I wanted to today. If you're hitting off the fairway to these pins, there's a few you can attack, and I managed to do that."
Dyson's best finish this season was joint tenth in his defence of the Irish Open at Royal Portrush three weeks ago and he looks to have found a bit of form.
“And It’s always nice to play the weekend at the Open, best tournament in the world.”