Colin Montgomerie is holding jet lag and a hugely talented field at bay as he pursues his first strokeplay title on American soil in the £4.2m American Express Championship.
The Scot, an emotional winner of the Dunhill Links Championship - his first title for 19 months - at St Andrews last Sunday, added a second-round 69 to his opening 64 for a seven-under-par halfway total of 133 at Harding Park here, one shot ahead of his Ryder Cup team-mate David Howell and the former Open champion John Daly.
Tiger Woods, seeking an 11th win in 21 World Golf Championship events, is a shot further back in a share of third after a 68.
"I'm glad to get in with a 69," admitted Montgomerie after holing from six feet for a bogey at the 18th. "After a 64, any score in the 60s is a reasonable effort. I truly believe today's score was better than yesterday's. That was adren-alin and it just flowed, but today was tougher and it was colder. I'm actually quite tired, the jet lag is kicking in, so I'm glad to get finished. My confidence is high and that's what is keeping me going."
Howell, a member of the Ryder Cup team last year, still finds himself a virtual unknown in America. "It doesn't worry me that I fly under the radar over here," he said. "I've been with the guys who get recognised all the time enough to know it's a pain in the bum."Reuse content