Rory McIlroy birdied two of the last four holes to boost his chances of making the cut at the Houston Open.
The 23-year-old carded a two under par round of 70 to finish at one under for the tournament, right on the cut mark.
Although McIlroy is expected to play over the weekend, the chances of him reclaiming the number one spot from Tiger Woods have receded.
Woods now looks likely to head the field at the start of the Masters in Augusta on 11 April.
McIlroy started the day with a bogey on the second hole to slip to two over par for the tournament, following his opening round of 73.
The Holywood golfer birdied the par five eighth hole and birdied the 15th, another par five hole, in a dogged attempt to find form.
Standing on the 16th tee, he still faced early elimination from the tournament but managed a two on the par three hole to move to one under for the tournament.
The projected cut mark stands at one under, leaving McIlroy with a nervous wait on Friday evening to see if he will be playing over the weekend.
American Steve Wheatcroft is the clubhouse leader on ten under par.