Charl Schwartzel made a 19-spot move up the BMW Championship leaderboard when a second-round 68 took his tournament score to one-under at Cog Hill Golf Club on Friday.
Schwartzel carded three early drops, but an eagle on the ninth steadied the ship and he closed the round at three-under, moving to a share of 27th with, among others, Rory Sabbatini.
A bogey on the first unsettled Schwartzel and he dropped a further two shots, looking to be in trouble at three-over through four holes.
But Schwartzel settled with a birdie on the seventh before displaying his skill with an eagle at the turn. At the 615-yard par-five ninth he played a superb second shot in to 12 feet from the pin and boxed the putt to turn at level par.
A bogey-free back nine indicated good composure from the Masters winner, who played clever golf and birdied both par fives on the back stretch.
He rode the momentum for a third and final birdie on the 16th before signing for his 68.
Countryman Sabbatini carded 69 for his second round and will be satisfied with his upward move of ten places on the leaderboard.
Ernie Els should be happy that the event has no cut after he plodded through at level par on day two.
The Big Easy, who dropped to 45th, faces the near-impossible task of finishing third in order to progress to the Tour Championship.
Schwartzel holds 26th in the FedExCup standings and is projected to make the Tour Championship if he maintains his score, but he didnÂt come to Cog Hill just to make the next stage.