Welshman Jamie Donaldson battled through strong winds to post one of the best early halfway totals in the US PGA Championship at Kiawah Island.
A one over par 73 may not sound anything special, yet it was 20 strokes better than one of his playing partners, American club professional Doug Wade.
Donaldson had opened with a 69, but with a two under aggregate he had to wait to see if conditions eased and gave the later starters - overnight leader Carl Pettersson, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods included - a massive advantage.
Of those out in the morning only two were faring better. Fijian Vijay Singh, at 49 trying to become the oldest winner of a Major in history, stood four under with two to play and American Blake Adams was three under after 11 holes.
Pettersson's opening six under 66 had given the Swede a one stroke lead over World Number Three McIlroy, big-hitting American Gary Woodland, Swede Alex Noren and Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño and the young Northern Irishman needed no telling that things were a lot tougher on his return to the course - his cap blew off near the clubhouse.
Winner of the Irish Open last month on the links of Royal Portrush - his first European Tour victory in 255 starts - Donaldson was prospering at another seaside venue and in more tough weather.
The 36 year old, playing only his second Major in America, birdied the first and sixth, but hit his second shot into a thick patch of rough on the 579 yard seventh and needed three hacks at it to get out.
A double bogey seven was the end result, but he hit straight back with a 35 foot birdie putt before coming home in a two over 38 with three bogeys and a birdie in the final five holes as the weather worsened.
“It was really difficult,” he said. “We had a lot of wind at the start but it just got a little bit more windy towards the end.
“It was a result if you actually hit the green on the downwind holes. That's just showing how tough it is out there - just a brutal test of golf.
“You've just got to stay patient and keep hitting good shots and putting yourself in position.”
Graeme McDowell had started with a fine 68, but he managed only 39 for the back nine with bogeys at the 13th, 14th and 17th, where he could not get up and down from just over the green.
The 2010 US Open Champion did, however, birdie the long second and was two under alongside Donaldson.
Fernandez-Castaño dropped back with a 78, while Noren was nine over with three to play.
Singh set the early target, a brilliant 69 leaving him four under for the first two rounds. In the clubhouse he led by two from Donaldson and Adams, but on the course Pettersson resumed with a bogey five on the tenth and the lead was taken instead by Woodland when he birdied the long second.
McIlroy remained one behind after three opening pars.
McDowell finished with the same score to be level par and Paul Lawrie was only one further back after the huge bonus of holing his approach to the 494 yard ninth for an eagle two.