Northern Ireland Rory McIlroy faces a fearful wait to see if he made the cut in the US PGA Championship after a second round 71 at Bethpage.
The 2012 and 2014 champion dropped five shots on his first three holes to slip over to seven, but four birdies on his back nine left him with three left.
The top 70 and the bands play the weekend with the cut projected on three out.
Leader and defending champion Brooks Koepka (seven under) and Tiger Woods (two over) are among the late starters.
Former champion Phil Mickelson, who played alongside McIlroy and the Australian Jason Day, often found the rugged game with failed tee shots on the tough Long Island course in New York State.
But the five-fold big winner still scored a one-over par 71 to be on an equal footing in the weekend,
Others who have completed their second round are triple-big winner Jordan Spieth who shot a four-under-66 to set the clubhouse goal on five, still two behind Koepka.
If the 25-year-old had the upper hand at the American PGA, he would only be the sixth golfer to complete a Grand Slam career of all four majors.
World number one Dustin Johnson is a shot farther back on four under after a three-under-67, alongside roommate Daniel Berger, who signed for a 66.
New Zealand's Danny Lee, who finished the first round behind Koepka on six under, had a disappointing Friday, scored a four-over-74 and slipped back to two under.
But the English Matt Fitzpatrick had a sparkling round and hit a five-under-65 to go to level par 75 after an opening day.
Elsewhere, American PGA champion Rich Beem recorded the lowest score for nine holes in 2004 with a back nine of 30, including five birdies in the last six holes.
That helped the 48-year-old record a one-under-69 and finished in four.