Tiger Woods' conservative game plan had kept him out of Royal Lytham's 205 bunkers through 35 holes. He finally found one at his final hole on Friday, but made quick work of it.
Woods holed out his greenside bunker shot at the final hole to secure a second consecutive round of 3-under 67 that leaves him four shots behind leader Brandt Snedeker.
"It wasn't that bad because I was on the upslope," Woods said of the bunker shot to ESPN. "Being on the upslope, I could put it up on the air and land on the flat and be totally OK with the speed."
The sandy birdie at the last took Woods to 6 under, third place by himself and a spot in the penultimate group on Saturday, right in front of Snedeker and Adam Scott, whose 9-under total lands him in the final group in a major for the first time in his career.
Woods drove the ball spectacularly for a second consecutive day, using the low, stinger shot with a long-iron to miss just one fairway on the day. The Hoylake-like strategy of staying short left him with longer approaches, but Woods responded by playing away from a more difficult set of pins than were laid out by the R&A on Thursday.
"It was the pin locations, they were all on knobs, so it was really tough to get the ball in a spot where you could be pretty aggressive," Woods said.
Woods needed 58 putts for the first two rounds, right about average for the field. He has rarely left himself, however, with any kind of real tests for par. The only significant putt for par came at the par-5 seventh, which Woods made from 11 feet for a momentum-saving par.
His conservative game plan has made for easy pars but has left him struggling for more birdie opportunities compared to Snedeker and Scott, both looking for their first major titles. Woods, however, appears to be content to err on the side of caution and long for Sunday, when the forecast calls for the wind to finally appear.
"We've got some forecast for some wind on Sunday," he said. "This golf course, we haven't seen it yet with the wind we're supposed to get."