Open champion Phil Mickelson charged into contention for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship with a brilliant scoring burst on Saturday.
Mickelson made the halfway cut with just one shot to spare after rounds of 73 and 70, the five-time major winner failing to record a single birdie on the opening day.
But the American left-hander insisted on Friday he had "a good, low round in me tomorrow" and was as good as his word as he climbed to within two shots of the lead shared by Scotland's Craig Lee and Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello.
Mickelson birdied the first, second and fourth at Abu Dhabi Golf Club and after dropping a shot on the fifth, bounced straight back with a birdie on the next.
An eagle on the par-five eighth took the 43-year-old to the turn in 31 and another birdie on the 10th lifted him to seven under par.
Speaking after his second round, Mickelson said: "I'm really glad I made the cut and I have a chance on these next two days, because I kind of keyed in on something, the swing started to feel much better and I really need these two days to get my game sharp to start the year.
"I haven't played for eight weeks, so my game is going to be rusty. I practised last week in an effort to get ready, but it didn't come along as nicely as I would like. Today was a good day for me in that I hit a lot of crisp, solid iron shots, and I actually think I have a good couple of rounds in me.
"If I can get hot with the putter, I think I have a good, low round in me tomorrow. But more than that, I need these two days of work and I need to get back out there."
Mickelson had played with Rory McIlroy in the first two rounds and described the former world number one's driving as "impeccable", McIlroy carding rounds of 70 and 67 to lie two off the lead at the halfway stage.