When Rory McIlroy begins to falter, that's when you need to keep your eye on him most.
At the Open Championship last month, the Holywood golfer carded five bogeys in his opening six holes and looked as good as beaten at Royal Birkdale. Down the stretch he pulled off four birdies to launch him back into contention.
The 28-year-old again displayed these characteristics of his recent form: streaky at times, but with the courage to pull himself back into the round.
Starting on the back nine, he pulled off a miracle shot from the cart path on the 10th to save par for his opening hole of the day. This was followed by an additional four pars before a birdie on the 15th brought him back to level par for the tournament.
Without making any more headway, he closed out the back nine in 35 and turned the corner where he yesterday carded -1 for his day's work.
Fortunes weren't as kind to him today and bogeys on four of his opening six holes left him in dire trouble. With the projected cut line at the time drifting between +3 and +4, it remained unclear as to whether he would survive to see the weekend.
Ahead of today's round, McIlroy insisted that Quail Hollow - where he has twice set a course record in the past 10 years - "gives you chances" to turn your luck around.
Rory: "This is not the Quail Hollow we've known over the last 10 years. This is a completely different golf course."
— Sean Martin (@PGATOURSMartin) August 11, 2017
I guess a low round used to be a 61 or a 62. A low round now is a 66 or a 67. You're playing your ass off to get that. I'd say, if I shoot two 67s over the weekend, I'm going to have a really good chance.
If there was anybody who could find a miracle escape from this situation it was him and he delivered on the seventh and eight hole with back-to-back birdies to help close out a round of 72.
Asked whether he thought it was strange to see so many players over-par after the opening two rounds, he said:
Even if they didn't do anything else with the golf course and just changed it to full bermuda like it is now, all of a sudden makes the golf course two shots more difficult. Just with the lies that you get in the rough, trickiness around the greens.
Even just that - so yeah, it's a much tougher practice, and after what I've witnessed over the past two days, no, I'm not surprised to see so many guys be over par.
A score of +2 for the tournament with leave him 10 shots behind leader Kevin Kisner heading into moving day.
McIlroy finishes his second round ten shots off the lead. pic.twitter.com/tmeje5Ev5O
— DP World Tour (@DPWorldTour) August 11, 2017