Rory McIlroy pledged to take an aggressive approach after surprisingly finding himself in contention for a third US PGA title at Oak Hill.
Despite continuing to struggle off the tee, McIlroy carded a second round of 69 for a halfway total of level par to lie just five off the lead shared by Scottie Scheffler, Corey Conners and Viktor Hovland.
First round leader Bryson DeChambeau and fellow American Justin Suh were two shots off the lead, with England’s Callum Tarren – who only secured a place in the field on Friday – another stroke back after a superb 67.
Masters runner-up Brooks Koepka was alongside Tarren on two under thanks to a 66 which included four birdies in the last seven holes.
Justin Rose hit just two fairways but somehow conjured up a second round of 70 to lie one under, with McIlroy and former Open champion Shane Lowry on level par.
“I think with how terribly I’ve felt over the ball, the fact I am only five back… I’m not saying it could be up there with one of my best performances but when I holed that (birdie) putt on the last I thought I can’t believe I’m only five back.
“If I can get the ball in play off the tee I’ll have a shot and at this point I might just tee it high and bomb it everywhere. I may as well just swing it hard and go for it.”
Quote of the day
“I feel like I’ve got the game this week to compete, to tell you the truth”
Club professional Michael Block was not content simply to make the cut after two rounds of 70 left him five off the lead.
Shot of the day
Rory McIlroy was two over par for the day and perhaps starting to worry about making the cut when he holed from 45 feet for birdie on the ninth.
Round of the day
Brooks Koepka birdied five holes on the back nine, including the difficult 17th and 18th, to card a superb 66.
Statistic of the day
Rory McIlroy may not have won a major since 2014, but he continues to pile up some impressive numbers.
The reachable par-four 14th played to an average of 3.878, with 41 players making birdie.
The 503-yard sixth hole was comfortably the hardest, with just three players making birdie, 24 making a double bogey and three faring even worse to lead to an average of 4.750
An approaching low-pressure system and associated cold front will bring a band of rain to the area early on Saturday morning through the early afternoon before tapering off for the rest of the afternoon. Drier conditions return by Saturday evening with partly cloudy skies and mild temperatures expected for Sunday.
Key tee times (all BST)
1840 Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry
1910 Justin Rose, Michael Block
1920 Callum Tarren, Taylor Pendrith
1930 Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau
1950 Scottie Scheffler, Corey Conners