The 55-year-old Spaniard, who won at Augusta National in 1994 and 1999, added a second round of 71 to his opening 75 for a halfway total of two-over par on Friday.

"It's like winning the event," Olazabal said. "I have to say that I enjoyed the two days. Obviously because I hit the ball better, but because of the conditions on the golf course.

"It's lovely to see Augusta played like we have the last two days, fast and firm. It reminds me a lot of the late '80s and '90s.

"And I felt great. I felt relaxed. It's true that I had a little hiccup on 3 and 4 at the beginning of the round, but I played pretty solid all day long. I missed, I would say, maybe two, three shots really bad, but the rest were OK.

"It's been really special these last two days for me. I haven't made the cut in for how many years, and I'm giving myself a chance at least to make it. I make the cut and play the weekend, that's going to be great for me."

- Phil Casey, PAA