Three birdies on the back nine saved Lydia Ko from missing the cut at the British Open overnight.
Ko began the day on even par for the tournament, five shots behind the leaders, but quickly found trouble on the Carnoustie course.
Three bogeys and one birdie on her front nine had her placed outside the cut before she was able to rescue her round, at one point forced to play a spectacular bunker shot while on her knees to save par.
The three back-nine birdies meant she ended the day two shots clear of danger, six shots behind the leaders, Mina Harigae of the USA and 2018 champion Georgia Hall from England.
Tokyo Olympics star Nelly Korda, joint leader after the first round, slipped back in the field overnight.
The new superstar of women's golf shot a one-over 73 and was one of only two players in the top 16 on the leaderboard to shoot over par on another benign day when the wind held off and it felt almost balmy at times near the east coast of Scotland.
Hall was hoping that wouldn't last.
"I think it's about time it got windy," Hall said, looking ahead to conditions at the weekend which are forecast to turn much more challenging. "It's proper links golf and that's what people want to see and I think it makes golf much more interesting when there's a lot of wind. So I'm quite excited to play in it."
Hall, who won her favorite event three years ago at Royal Lytham, rolled in six birdies in her first 14 holes to move into a one-stroke lead on 9 under.
The double-bogey six at No 15 dropped her into what would shortly be a four-way tie for the lead and she parred her way home to join Harigae, who rolled in a long, winding birdie putt at the last to complete a round of 67 that contained seven birdies in all.
In the last five years at the Women's Open, no player has more rounds in the 60s than Hall's nine and that is filling the 25-year-old English golfer with confidence heading into the weekend.
"I do feel very calm when I am playing the British Open," Hall said.
"It is just so nice to play in front of the crowds. We missed that last year and to hear them cheering my name is great. I'm having a lot of fun."
That's something Korda didn't seem to have.
Even making a big right-to-left putt for birdie at 17 failed to cheer up the world's best player, who parred her first eight holes that were characterised by a series of missed putts from mid-range, even if her tee-to-green play was typically strong.
"I don't think I hit it that bad," Korda said. "The only thing I struggled on was making those putts and getting it close.
"Everyone keeps talking about how I'm playing so well, but I'm going to shoot bad scores," Korda said. "I'm human."
And at least she made it to the weekend.
Sophia Popov, last year's unlikely champion at Royal Troon when ranked No 304, double-bogeyed the last hole after three-putting to shoot 75 for a three-over total.
Also missing the cut were No 5-ranked Danielle Kang, who shot 76-75 and two British favourites in Charley Hull — despite a second-round 71 — and European Ryder Cup captain Catriona Matthew (75), the 2009 champion.
Laura Davies, who has played every Women's Open since 1980, is sticking around, though. The enduring Englishwoman, 57, shot 70 and was even par for the tournament.
- with AP