Jason Day and Adam Scott are the leading Australians, seven shots from the lead, through two rounds of The Players at TPC Sawgrass in Florida.
Day and Scott are both at two-under par, both Queenslanders having carded identical 70-72 scorelines on the opening two days on a tough layout.
South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen and American Kyle Stanley are the leaders at nine-under, but many of the higher-rated players are off the pace, including world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, who is even-par.
Day admitted that he needed to make a move tomorrow. "That's a pretty big margin, but you get off to a good round tomorrow and you just never know what happens, especially at a place like this,'' he said. "It's difficult to try to close around here, but I need a good one tomorrow.''
The defending champion was in scrambling mode for a lot of the day, battling with pin positions that he called "on ledges everywhere'' and quick, bouncy greens. "You had to position yourself well on the greens today and unfortunately I didn't really do that. But to get around in ever-par 72, it's a good positive sign going into tomorrow. The weekend's going to play tough. Hopefully we bypass this weather and if we can it should play pretty difficult on the weekend.''
Of the other Australians, Aaron Baddeley (one-under) and Rod Pampling (two-over) made the cut, but Cameron Smith, Greg Chalmers and Marc Leishman have the weekend off.