Veteran Pádraig Harrington used all his bad weather experience to shoot one of the rounds of the day and launch himself into contention for his third Alfred Dunhill Links Championship win.
The Dubliner (51) shot a one-under 71 at Kingsbarns as the entire field went off at 8:30 am in a shotgun start due to poor weather and averaged 76.67 with only ten players in the 168-man field breaking par and only three dipping under 70.
Despite battling driving rain and winds gusting over 50 mph, Harrington moved 51 places up the leaderboard to tied 10th on four-under in the Pro-Am event played over three links courses.
"Yeah, happy with a 71," the three-time Major winner said after making four birdies against three bogeys. "It was tough out there. The ball really wasn't going very far. Just had to keep your head in the game all the time."
He's six shots behind the unheralded Englishman Richard Mansell, who carded a brilliant 68 at the Old Course to lead by two shots from Sweden's Alex Noren, who shot 69 at Kingsbarns.
"Six behind, yeah, I'm in a pretty good place," said Harrington, who won the title in 2002 and 2006. "Doesn't matter where I am. I'm playing each shot at a time, it's a cliché, and I am. It's not like I should be any better, and I don't feel like I should be any worse.
"The leaders will look after themselves. Six shots behind, maybe make some in-roads. I probably need to have a run at some stage over the next 36 holes. I need to have that run. But at least I'm in position that if I do that run, it counts."
Harrington fared better than the rest of the Irish on a hugely difficult day.
"I think like everybody, I made a few mistakes, but I also holed a few putts, which you needed to do on a bad day," Harrington said. "7 1 is a good return. You know, obviously, it wasn't that windy and it obviously wasn't cold. So I think the unusual thing is normally when it's rainy, we don't play.
"The ball was surprisingly going nowhere. First hole of the day, 175 into the fifth and I'm a hitting 4-iron. I thought I was being smart. I thought, I'll show these boys. We didn't see it finish. It was 25 yards short. You know, it was a shock.
"I think the rest of the day was really difficult in terms of you had to keep over-clubbing. On 18, I was hitting wood. Hitting a wood from 180 yards to the front. 192 yards to the pin and I'm hitting a 5-wood. I hit that, it's 260 in the air."
Rory McIlroy made three birdies, three bogeys and a triple-bogey seven at the 14th in a three-over 75 at Kingsbarns to fall nine shots off the lead on one-under.
Shane Lowry fared even worse, mixing two birdies with three bogeys, a double-bogey and a quadruple-bogey seven at the dangerous par-three 15th (his ninth hole of the day) en route to a seven-over 79.
Lowry is tied for 116th on five-over alongside Clandeboye's Jonathan Caldwell, who shot a nine-over 81 on the Old Course, with most of the damage done by a quintuple-bogey nine at the par-five 14th.
Only the top 60 and ties will make the cut after Saturday's third round with Harrington, Lowry and McIlroy in action at St Andrews as Caldwell plays Carnoustie.
As for the leader, Mansell had one of the rounds of his life.
"Yeah, it's up there," he said. "I mean, I can't feel anything in my body right now. It was just gritty. I think I made one bogey on 16, which was obviously into the wind.
"You get them few holes into the wind and the rain, and it was just trying to make contact to be honest and just try to keep it out of the bunkers and just get up-and-down."
Overnight leader Romain Langasque of France followed his course-recording equalling 61 at the Old Course with an 80 at Carnoustie to slip back to tie 19th on three-under.