Lee Westwood and Gregory Bourdy enjoyed spells in the lead of the U.S. Open on Saturday, the latter threatening a major record, but last year's runner-up Dustin Johnson ended round two at Oakmont as the man to catch, while Rory McIlroy missed the cut.
After playing 36 holes on Friday following the storms that blighted the opening day, overnight co-leader Johnson was able to relax and see if his score of four under could be topped as the halfway point of the tournament was belatedly reached.
Westwood initially moved one clear of Johnson following two early birdies, only to subsequently drop off the pace, while Bourdy also made it to five under despite starting the day at one over.
After an opening bogey, five birdies and a spectacular eagle on the 11th put the Frenchman on course to challenge the record-low score in majors of 63, with the Oakmont course again proving slightly more attackable than expected.
However, Bourdy then bogeyed the 16th before dropping two shots at the last to finish with a 67 and join Sergio Garcia, Scott Piercy and Shane Lowry in a share of third at two under, with Westwood (72) one of four players a shot further back.
That meant the nearest rival to Johnson was Andrew Landry - the other man who began Saturday on four under.
The challenge of Landry looked to have passed when the U.S. Open rookie dropped four shots in three holes over the front nine, but he responded superbly - birdies on 13, 17 and 18 securing a 71 and lifting him back to within one of Johnson.
"I really didn't play bad golf [on the front nine], I just hit a couple loose tee shots and it's tough to make par from the rough out here," Landry told Fox Sports.
"I'm just hanging in there and trying to make as many pars as I can."
Also under par at the end of round two were Andy Sullivan (68), Jim Furyk (68) and Daniel Summerhays. The latter's 65 represented the joint-best round of the week, Louis Oosthuizen matching that number with the aid of eight birdies to be level par alongside the likes of Adam Scott (69) and Zach Johnson (69).
Yet there was misery for McIlroy, who picked up four shots on his front nine but then four-putted the third - his 12th hole - and double-bogeyed the ninth after taking two shots to escape a fairway bunker. A 71 dropped the Northern Irishman to eight over, two below the cut line.
Reigning champion Jordan Spieth shot a second successive 72 to sit eight off the lead and one clear of world number one Jason Day, who - like Johnson - had yet to take to the course on Saturday ahead of the third round getting under way.
Bubba Watson's hopes of victory were severely dented as he played his second nine, after starting at the 10th, in 41 strokes to slump back to five over, while the likes of Phil Mickelson (+7), Justin Rose (+8), Rickie Fowler (+11) and Hideki Matsuyama (+12) joined McIlroy in failing to make the weekend.