Martin Laird of Scotland posted a second straight 5-under-par 67 and took a one-stroke lead over Sang-Moon Bae of South Korea and Zachary Blair midway through the Frys.com Open on the North Course at Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa.
After playing bogey-free in round one, Laird made his first bogey at No. 6 on Friday, but then reeled off four consecutive birdies through No. 12 and added another on the final hole.
“Just started working on some things we used to work on and right away saw results,” said Laird, the 2011 Arnold Palmer Invitational champion, who had not played in seven weeks after failing to qualify for the PGA Tour playoffs last season.
Bae, who was tied for the lead with Andres Gonzales (second-round 74) after an opening 66, followed with a bogey-free 69 that included birdies on two of his last three holes, and Blair birdied four of the last six holes in a bogey-free 66.
Left-hander Scott Langley made three late birdies to finish was a 66 and was two strokes back in a tie for fourth with David Lingmerth of Sweden, who totaled 68, and Mark Hubbard, who aced the seventh hole en route of a 65.
Defending champion Jimmy Walker bounced back from a first-round 75 with a 66 that included birdies on the last two holes, and was seven strokes back in a tie for 36th.
Jarrod Lyle of Australia, playing in his first event on the PGA Tour since beating leukemia for the second time, shot 72-70–142 and made the cut by two shots. He got into the field by shooting 66 in Monday qualifying, sinking a 25-foot birdie on the second playoff hole to nail down his spot.