Brendon de Jonge began the day dead last on the leaderboard after shooting 80 on Thursday but turned his form around in dramatic fashion 24 hours later, a 10-under-par 62 vaulting him up the standings and back to two under overall – seven shots off the joint leaders.
De Jonge’s efforts saw him tie the Quail Hollow course record held by Rory McIlroy, whose final-round 62 saw him to his first career PGA victory in this tournament in 2010.
De Jonge’s Friday charge has spared him from the cut and the 33-year-old is now looking forward to the rest of the weekend.
“I wish I could go into every round with that kind of a mind set, but it’s easier said than done,” De Jonge, who made eight birdies and an eagle, said on pgatour.com.
“As horrible as yesterday was, today was as nice. So this game gives you something and takes something away.”
The story could have been even more remarkable for De Jonge when he gave himself an 18-foot putt on the last hole for a course-record 61, but it was not to be.
“I knew I had to keep going really just to make the cut, so I had that mind set all day that I needed to get out and get as far under par as possible and thank goodness it worked out,” De Jonge added.
“To be honest, I didn’t expect to be playing this weekend, so everything is a bonus. I have to do a good job of starting fresh tomorrow and realizing that it’s a new round.”
McIlroy’s hopes of repeating his 2010 win receded after a nightmare round of 76 on Friday.
After starting out three strokes off the lead, the Northern Irishman suffered a back-to-back double bogeys at holes three and four, while further losses at two, six and 16 were only partially offset by three birdies to leave him at one over and spared the cut by a single stroke.
The Charlotte event has been more consistent for Argentinian veteran Cabrera, who led by one shot after a first-round 66 and followed up with a 69 on Friday to ensure he kept his place at the top of the leaderboard.
Flores joined Cabrera at the top of the pile after adding a 68 to his opening 67, while England’s Justin Rose is also well in the mix, his second-round 67 keeping him just a stroke off the leaders at eight under.
Scotland’s Martin Laird is on five under, but England’s Lee Westwood will play no further part in the weekend after he missed the cut at three over, having added a 76 to his opening 71.