Nevada - Sweden's Jonas Blixt and Zimbabwe's Brendon de Jonge shared the lead after Friday's second round of the US PGA $4.5 million Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
Blixt fired his second consecutive seven-under par 64 while de Jonge shot 66 to match the Swede on 14-under par 128 after 36 holes in the first of four season-ending events aimed at players struggling to keep tour rights for 2013.
"I've been working a lot on my ball-striking the last few weeks," Blixt said. "It's not really there yet, but I've got a hot putter and it has been helping me out a lot the last two days. Making a lot of putts."
Blixt took a bogey at the third hole but answered with back-to-back birdies on the next two holes and an eagle on the par-4 seventh. Back to back birdies at the par-5 ninth and par-4 10th and another at the par-5 13th put him in front.
Birdies on three of the last four holes could have stretched his lead but a double bogey at the par-3 17th kept him within reach of the late starters.
"I don't know why they always put water on 17 on the par-3s," lamented Blixt. "I don't really appreciate it."
Back-nine starter De Jonge took advantage, sandwiching an eagle at the 15th between birdies at the par-5 13th and 16th holes. He followed a bogey at 18 with a birdie at the first. Another at the par-3 fifth tied him for the lead.
Blixt and De Jonge would be safely within the top 50 on the US money list by staying near the top this week.
American Ryan Moore was one stroke off the pace with countrymen Tim Herron and Daniel Summerhays sharing fourth on 131.
John Daly, the popular US veteran who looks to leap into the top 125 money leaders who qualify for next year's tour, was in a group on 132 that included fellow Americans John Huh, Chris Kirk and Nick Watney plus Fiji's Vijay Singh.
If Daly can hold his spot he will jump to 120th on the money list with three events remaining.
"Hadn't played for six weeks," Daly said.
"I hit the ball really well and I putted good the past two days, which is good for me. The greens are rolling really good, so it gives you an opportunity. If you hit it, think decent, you can make some putts."
Leading scores on Friday after the second round of the $4.5 million
US PGA Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (par-71,
USA unless noted):
128 - Jonas Blixt (SWE) 64-64, Brendon de Jonge (ZIM) 62-66
129 - Ryan Moore 61-68
131 - Tim Herron 63-68, Daniel Summerhays 68-63
132 - Vijay Singh (FIJ) 66-66, John Daly 69-63, Nick Watney 66-66, Chris Kirk 64-68, John Huh 63-69
133 - Scott Piercy 67-66, Justin Leonard 64-69, Jimmy Walker 67-66, Russell Knox 66-67
- Kevin Na 68-66, Ken Duke 66-68, Andres Romero (ARG) 68-66, Robert
Garrigus 66-68, Heath Slocum 67-67, Kevin Stadler 66-68, J.J. Killeen
66-68, Richard Lee 66-68, Patrick Reed 65-69
135 - Blake Adams
65-70, John Mallinger 70-65, Josh Teater 70-65, Davis Love 68-67,
Roberto Castro 69-66, Colt Knost 68-67, Kevin Streelman 68-67, Daniel
Chopra (SWE) 68-67, Edward Loar 67-68