Martin Kaymer put himself in contention for another tilt at the US PGA Championship after a second consecutive 68 at Oak Hill Country Club.
The German missed only two greens in what was an imperious, bogey-free display in some of the worst of the weather on Friday morning in Rochester.
With rain lashing the field during the early portions of the second round at Oak Hill, Kaymer made 16 pars and two birdies – found in succession from the 15th – to reach four under par for the tournament, five off the lead of Jason Dufner heading into the weekend.
“For the conditions, the circumstances, it was very good,” said Kaymer, who became only the second German to win a Major Championship after Bernhard Langer when he triumphed in the 2010 US PGA at Whistling Straits.
“It was just about trying to keep it simple for yourself and make it as easy as possible; hit fairways, hit greens because this golf course plays very long when it’s this wet.
“A day like this, you don't want to make silly mistakes. You just collect your pars. You're trying to hole long putts in order to make birdies but you don't force anything.
“I feel like I played safe, but still in an aggressive way, if that makes sense?”
The 28 year old Dusseldorf man played the first two rounds alongside defending champion Rory McIlroy, who battled back from five over par to sign for a level par 70 on Friday.
He said: “I talked to Rory during the round and was saying if we could manage to shoot something around par today or maybe even one or two under then it would be a fantastic score – mentally wise – because we had it very tough this morning.”
It has been a welcome return to form for Kaymer, who has not tasted victory since the 2011 WGC-HSBC Championship, having amassed five top ten finishes and not missed a cut in 11 appearances on The European Tour in 2013.
“I played really well last week,” continued Kaymer, referring to his tied ninth finish at Firestone Country Club in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
“But I have had good practice sessions the last few months so it was just a matter of time until everything came together.
“My short game has become a lot better, so I'm not surprised. I'm just happy where I am but I still want to become better.”