Rory McIlroy carded a fine four-under 67 that hoisted him up the Waste Management Phoenix Open leaderboard, but he still has a lot of work to do to have any hopes of contending for the trophy.
McIlroy came into his second round on one-under-par, tied for 52nd at the Arizona event. His six birdies were hurt a little by a couple of bogeys but this was a decent day's work for the Northern Irishman, even if putting frustrations again blotted the copy book.
Xander Schauffele's seven-under 64 that saw him move to 12-under for the tournament also means McIlroy needs something special this weekend to challenge.
Steve Stricker and Keegan Bradley, who opened with four straight birdies on his way to a 65, are one behind Schauffele, with Scottie Scheffler, Nate Lashley and Kyoung-Hoon Lee a further shot back.
Padraig Harrington failed to make the cut. The Dubliner's two-over 73 left him on two-over overall, well outside the cut mark of two-under.
Starting the day sharing sixth place after a 66, world No 4 Schauffele carded a quiet, blemish-free front nine with just a single birdie on the par-five third hole.
But the 27-year-old exploded after the turn, playing the back nine in six-under 30 to take the tournament lead at 12-under, with four birdies and a spectacular eagle three on the 15th when he drilled a 21-foot putt.
Fellow American Stricker, the US Ryder Cup captain who won his last PGA tournament in 2012, shot a five-under 66 in his bid to become the oldest winner in the tour's history.
Starting on the back nine, the 53-year-old carded four birdies in a smooth front half and two more on the third and seventh holes, before stumbling with a bogey five on the last.