Graeme McDowell crashed back to earth with a bump after two closing double-bogeys left him in danger of missing the cut in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
The new world No 47 insisted he was determined to push on and make the world's top 20 after his win in Saudi Arabia last week. But he faces a battle at Pebble Beach today to qualify for tomorrow's final round after carding a four-over 75 at Monterey Peninsula to slip to 112th on two-over-par.
The 2010 US Open champion was two-over par through 13 holes, but after getting back to level with birdies at the 14th and 15th, he double-bogeyed the 17th after incurring a penalty shot from the tee, then ran up another double-bogey six at the 18th.
Overnight leader Nick Taylor made it look easy and followed his first-round 63 at Monterey Peninsula Country Club with a six-under 66 to lead by two shots from former world No 1 Jason Day on 14-under par.
The Canadian (31) was two-under for the day with five holes to go but birdied the 14th, 15th, 17th and 18th. Day was also in inspired form on and around the greens, holing over 180-feet of putts in an immaculate 64 at Pebble Beach.
It was a tougher day for European Ryder Cup skipper Pádraig Harrington, who carded a one-over 73 at Pebble Beach to slip back to 91st in the clubhouse on level par. The Dubliner's silky short game set up two early birdies at the par-five second and sixth holes. But he bogeyed the ninth and 11th, missing twice inside 10 feet for par, then followed a birdie from 18 feet at the 15th with a double-bogey the 16th.
The three-time Major champion (48) was ranked 36th for driving distance, but he has told the R&A's chief executive Martin Slumbers that he has his full support if the governing bodies find a way to solve the distance problem by rolling back the ball and equipment.
"I've told him I 100 per cent support a rollback for the golf courses," Harrington told Golfweek. "There are great golf courses that can't be used. Roll it back and start again.
Meanwhile, Gavin Moynihan carded a five-under 67 and Robin Dawson a superb 66 to make the cut in the Challenge Tour's RAM Cape Town Open at Royal Cape as Niall Kearney and Michael Hoey missed out.
The Dubliner (25) made five birdies in a bogey-free effort to move up to tied 22nd, eight shots behind Daniel van Tonder as Dawson (24) made the one-under cut on the mark.