Vijay Singh moves up on windy day at Kiawah

Vijay Singh shot a 69 in windy conditions on Friday.
Evan Vucci / AP

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (AP) – If the first round was about scoring, the second may be about survival.

With the wind whipping around and occasional drops of rain pelting the Ocean Course, Vijay Singh shot a 3-under 69 to move within two strokes of the lead at the PGA Championship on Friday.

In these conditions, that was as close as anyone came to a major run early on.

Carl Pettersson, scheduled to play in the afternoon, remained atop the leaderboard after his 66 on Thursday. He was a stroke ahead of Rory McIlroy and Gary Woodland, who were just beginning their rounds. The big question was whether Pettersson and the others would fall back to the pack.

Alex Noren did. He started the day at 5 under but shot 41 on the front nine, in danger of missing the cut.

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano was also a shot behind Pettersson after one round. He bogeyed his first two holes Friday en route to a 78.

“It's playing tough in this wind, especially,'' Fernandez-Castano said. “During the round, I was trying to set up little goals just to keep me motivated.''

Tiger Woods, an afternoon starter, was three strokes behind the leader with a potentially pivotal 18 holes to come.

After mostly calm conditions for the opening round, players returned to find flags blowing stiffly in the wind and some threatening clouds hanging low. It eventually began raining, but there were no delays early in the second round.

The past 16 majors have been won by 16 different players. Woods hasn't won one since 2008.

Singh's last major title was the PGA Championship in 2004, and he's been solid so far this week. The 49-year-old Singh began moving up the leaderboard Friday with birdies on three of the first seven holes.

Phil Mickelson was looking to attack the course a bit more aggressively. Despite the elements, he was at 2 under for the day – 1 under for the tournament – late in his round.

Adam Scott shot a 75 to fall to 1 under, but he remains in contention after missing out on a British Open victory by bogeying his last four holes.

“I certainly feel like I've been received very well the last couple weeks since I've been back and it's great to have support,'' Scott said. “I may have won a few more fans. Unfortunately it was from not winning the tournament, but maybe I can change that here over the weekend.''

RELATED:'s David Dusek shot this video of the windy conditions at Kiawah.