Charlotte: Jason Dufner emerged from hibernation to take the second-round lead at the Wells Fargo Championship on Friday, while Rory McIlroy stumbled in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Dufner, the 2013 PGA Championship winner whose recent form has been woeful, never looked back after pitching in from 35 yards for birdie at the first hole at Quail Hollow.
He added a 40-foot birdie putt at the penultimate hole en route to an eight-under-par 63 that matched his career-low round on the PGA Tour.
“I played what I would consider the scorable holes really well, and then I threw in some others,” the 42-year-old told PGA Tour Radio.
“That’s what happens on a day when you get in the low 60s. Everything kind of meshed together.” With an 11-under 131 halfway total, Dufner headed fellow Americans Max Homa (63) and Joel Dahmen (66) by one stroke.
The three frontrunners all played in the more benign morning conditions and ended the day well clear of the pack.
Northern Irishman McIlroy (70) and American Patrick Reed (69) were next, five shots behind Dufner in a tie for fourth. Defending champion Jason Day (69) and world number two Justin Rose (67) were among a group lurking six shots off the pace.