Birdies were as elusive as clouds in the sky for Tiger Woods at the British Open on Friday but the one he rolled in on the 18th hole set the American up perfectly for a weekend charge.
For the second day running Woods was forced to grind for small rewards on the tinderbox links course, carding a level-par 71 to go with the 69 he put together on Thursday.
Woods, who has waited for five years to add to his 14 major titles, made a far steadier start than he did the previous day when his opening tee shot found an unplayable lie.
This time he was much straighter and birdied the par-four third after a lazer-guided approach left him an eight-foot putt.
He missed a short par putt at the following hole but gained another shot at the par-five fifth with a tap-in birdie.
With the greens quickening nothing was guaranteed on the sun-scorched surfaces and Woods missed another short putt for par at the eighth to reach the turn as he started the day.
Woods leaked another bogey at the 11th but then went into lockdown mode, reeling off six consecutive pars before pumping his fist at the 18th with 10-foot birdie.
"Towards the middle part of my round I lost the pace and was blowing it past the hole. But finally got it fixed at the end," Woods, who finds himself right in the mix to win his first British Open since 2006, told reporters.
"Just got to continue plodding along. Just continue just being patient, putting the ball in the right spots and trying.
"We're not going to get a lot of opportunities out there, but when I have, I've been able to capitalise, and hopefully I can continue doing that."