Tiger Woods carded a one-over-par 72 to head into the weekend at three over after the second round of the Open at Royal St George's.
The world number one trails leader Davis Love by four shots after a mixed round which was marred by a three-putt double-bogey six.
Woods picked up three birdies on the front nine but handed shots back at nine and 17 and suffered a miserable 12th hole.
"It was a challenge on patience because the course was playing so difficult," said Woods.
"The problem was that every green was a different speed depending on whether it was exposed. Some of the exposed ones are so fast and dry."
The American shrugged off his demons with a safe par on the first after his triple-bogey seven there on Thursday.
Having wiped the slate clean, he hit an immaculate short iron into the par-four second for his first birdie and picked up further shots at the fourth and seventh.
But his charge stumbled at the ninth after a flier from the rough with his second shot led to a bogey via the semi rough at the back of the green.
He steadied the ship with a 15-foot par putt on the 10th but suffered a serious blow two holes later.
He opted to putt from the front fringe of the 381-yard par four and left himself with a tiddler to save par.
But he dragged it past the left edge and missed an even shorter one coming back to rack up a double-bogey six.
"It's not very good," said Woods.
"I hit a good putt first up and almost made it but then I hit two poor ones.
"But I thought 'keep fighting/ because you can always get it back."
Woods did gather himself for four holes, remaining at two over with a string of solid pars.
But he dropped another shot at the 17th after over-hitting a 20-yard putt from off the green and missing the return.
A careful five-foot par-putt at the last minimised the damage, and Woods was adamant that any score near par would offer a good chance in the last two rounds.
"If it blows you've just got to be patient and understand that if you make a lot of pars you are going to be alright," he said.
"The guys aren't going to go low here that's for sure."