Tiger Woods rebounded from a disappointing first round to fire a roller-coaster three-under-par 68 at the Frys.com Open on Friday, which he said gave him a shot at the title.
The former world number one's score included three bogeys and six birdies - including one run of three consecutive birdies and another birdie on his final hole to reach one-under 141 at the CordeValle course, southeast of San Jose.
He was seven shots behind England's Paul Casey, who fired a seven-under 64 for 134 and the clubhouse lead in the late-season event that features just three of the top-50 players in the world.
Heavy fog delayed the start of the second round for two hours and 20 minutes but Woods, injured at the Masters in April and who has played sparingly since, was comfortably poised to play beyond a 36-hole cut for the first time since Augusta.
He withdrew hurt from the first round of the Players Championship in May and finished tied for 37th at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational in August - an event that doesn't have a 36-hole cut.
He also missed the cut at the PGA Championship, his last prior US tour start.
His poor results left him out of the FedEx Cup playoffs, and Woods' 68 snapped a string of six consecutive rounds where he failed to break par.
"I don't like missing cuts, period," Woods said. "If I miss the cut, that means you can't win the tournament on the weekend. I've got a shot at it this weekend."
Woods, who was dismayed by his poor performance on the greens in his opening 73, was happier with his putting after some post-round practice.
"I hit one bad putt today, and that was it," Woods said. "Every other putt was on line."
Starting on No. 10, Woods birdied the par-three 11th. He had a par on the next hole before a bogey at 13 but his birdie on the par-four 14th was followed by two more in succession. He then dropped two more shots with back-to-back bogeys on his ninth and tenth holes of the day.
"I had it going early there, three in a row to get to 3-under par for the day, and if we could just keep it going, I could shoot my number," said Woods, who added he went into the round aiming at a 64. "I made a couple mistakes there at 18 and one. But overall, I'm still within seven shots of it right now."
Woods got back to even par after 12 holes with his fifth birdie of the round on the par-four, 435 yard No. 2 and capped his round with a birdie at the par-five ninth.
Woods has won 14 major championships but has not won a tournament since 2009.
He has battled left knee and tendon injuries suffered at the Masters in April, where his share of fourth place was his best showing so far this year.
After this tournament, Woods has a month off before the Australian Open and the Presidents Cup, where he will play as a captain's pick by Fred Couples in the matchplay showdown between the United States and an international team.
England's Casey won the Shinhan Donghae Open in South Korea last week, an encouraging sign for a player who has struggled with a foot injury since May and is so far down the US tour money list he's in danger of losing his card.
He teed off on 10th and his eight birdies included four in a row from the 15th. He drained birdie putts of 40 feet and 25 feet at 16 and 17.
"To be honest, it's probably the best I've hit the golf ball all year," Casey said.
Bud Cauley, who left university early and turned pro this summer - and would like to avoid qualifying school - fired a 66 for seven-under 135.
South African Ernie Els climbed steadily up the leaderboard and was seven-under through 16 when darkness halted play.
He missed an eight-foot birdie putt at the 16th that would have given him a share of the lead.