Louis Oosthuizen has endured a long wait for his second major championship since cruising to the British Open in 2010 at St Andrews, but said he has been inspired rather than frustrated by his six second places at the majors since.
The South African leads the field by two shots at the halfway stage of the 149th British Open thanks to a competition record low score of 129 through 36 holes.
A second round of 65 on Friday to follow his opening 64 carried Oosthuizen to 11 under par on a day of low scoring under blue skies at Royal St. George's.
Playing with defending champion Shane Lowry and pre-tournament favourite Jon Rahm, the three made the most of the kind conditions to shoot a combined 16 under par for the day.
"To have any record at the Open or part of any record at the Open is always very special," said Oosthuizen.
"I think I've played really good the last two days. I probably played a bit better yesterday in the conditions we were playing in, but today we got really, I would say, lucky sort of the last nine holes.
"It was as good a weather as you can get playing this golf course. All of us took advantage of that."
Oosthuizen was second to Rahm at the US Open last month and was also joint runner-up to Phil Mickelson in May at the US PGA Championship.
However, he has not been downhearted by a series of close calls at the majors.
"More inspiration (than frustration) I would say, knowing that I can still compete in majors," he added.
"I just need to pull it through and see if I can go one better on this weekend.
"The game is good, but I know it's a really good leaderboard. I have to play good golf this weekend if I want to come out first."
Oosthuizen will go out in the final pairing with American Collin Morikawa on Saturday.