Colin Montgomerie came to Girona looking for his old winning touch and his lost touch on the greens in Girona, Spain.
And in the first round of the $938,000 Spanish Open the Scot shot a 67 in what he called "perfect start."
But in Saturday's second round his fragile putting came back to haunt him in a one-under-par 71 which left him six under overall at 138.
This left Montgomerie a precarious leader of the early finishers but bitter about missed opportunities.
The score was no reward for a vintage long-game display.
"At a conservative estimate, very conservative, that was worth a 65 or a 66," Montgomerie said.
"It was the same old problem. I just couldn't get it in from six, seven, five, four, feet."
Montgomerie had 33 putts in his round. But he converted only 4 of thirteen putts from 12 feet or less, three of them for birdies.
"Obviously I hit the ball well otherwise," a weary Montgomerie said. "Now all I can do is spend an afternoon practicing. Working to get back into contention. Today was a day for gaining ground. I didn't do it."
Montgomerie's temporary caddie Peter Coleman, on loan from Bernhard Langer who is a veteran survivor of three attacks of the yips, then lugged seven models of putter to the practice area.
"And I thought," the long-suffering Coleman said, "that I was having a week off from all this with 'Monty'."
New Zealand's Stephen Scahill shot 69 to finish level with Montgomerie on 138 and Scotland's Andrew Coltart also fired a 69 to pull up temporarily into third slot a shot back at 139.
A 69 from former Masters champ Ian Woosnam saw him through the cut at 142 but current and former Ryder Cup captains Sam Torrance and Mark James both crashed out.
James had a 76 for a six-over total of 150 and Torrance's 75 left him at 151.
Severiano Ballesteros missed his fifth straight cut in five events this year with a 75 for 150.Reuse content