With the 150th Open Championship just around the corner, a plethora of big names were dealt a big blow in their preparations following a challenging day in North Berwick.
World number one Scottie Scheffler and defending Open champion Collin Morikawa both struggled as they shot five over par. US PGA winner Justin Thomas fared even worse, as he finished the second round on 10 over. All three men sensationally missed the cut at the halfway stage.
Of the 38 players who posted sub-par rounds on Thursday, 32 came from the early starters who avoided the tougher afternoon conditions, and as a result, averaged three shots better.
With that in mind, Fitzpatrick's opening 71 was seen a creditable effort, while the first half of his second round was simply scintillating as he played his 13 holes in six under.
The 27-year-old later slipped up with bogeys on the eighth and ninth holes, meaning the Sheffield native had to settle for a 66.
In the end, that wasn't a bad score as it lifted Fitzpatrick into a tie for fourth alongside Xander Schauffele.
Meanwhile, American Cameron Tringale could only add a 72 to his opening 61 to set the pace on seven under, three shots ahead of compatriots Gary Woodland and Doug Ghim.
"I wasn't in the best of positions going into today given yesterday's weather, but it was fantastic to get off to such a great start. To score as well as I did on the back nine I was absolutely delighted," Fitzpatrick said.
"It was 3.2 shots difference between morning and afternoon (yesterday), so it's safe to say we got the worst half of the draw.
"But I've had so much support with people saying congrats and keep it going as you're walking onto tees and greens. It's been really nice to be out there."