Louis Oosthuizen has taken a share of the PGA Championship lead with Branden Grace and Christiaan Bezuidenhout only two strokes adrift at the halfway mark of the Major.
It proved to be an extremely challenging day for most of the South Africans in Kiawah Island, where strong winds made life difficult again around the course.
A gusty breeze proved telling with many players suffering disastrous second rounds as a result and scores tumbling.
But, Oosthuizen weathered the ‘storm’ from the Atlantic and put in a masterclass at the Ocean Course under the testing circumstances.
The South African carded a four-under-par 68 for his Friday showdown to take a massive stride up the leaderboard to hold the outright lead up until the final hole, where a bogey signed his round off on five under par for the week.
Oosthuizen will head into the all-important moving day at the summit of the leaderboard alongside past winner Phil Mickelson.
The 50-year-old American is aiming for a sixth Major victory 16 years after winning the PGA Championship for the first time.
Brooks Koepka, also a previous champ at the event, went one under for his second round to conclude the day one shot off the pace and in third spot.
Similarly, Grace also managed to build on his fine start from Thursday with a second-round 71 to climb to three under par for the event where he is joined by Bezuidenhout, who shot a two-under-par 70.
The South African duo will start Saturday’s action in T4 alongside the 2021 Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama, with the Japanese also looking dangerous.
With the cut set at five over par, given the high scores from Friday, Garrick Higgo (+5), Dean Burmester (+4) and Daniel van Tonder (+1) are the only other South Africans still alive in the field.
It proved to be a difficult day, however, for Dylan Frittelli (+8), Erik van Rooyen (+9), George Coetzee (+10), Charl Schwartzel (+11) and Brandon Stone (+17).
World No 1 Dustin Johnson and former champion Justin Thomas both also failed to make the cut for the weekend.