Charl Schwartzel shot a second-round 65 at the AT&T Byron Nelson tournament in McKinney, Texas, on Friday.
The South African’s round included six birdies and an eagle at the 14th. However, he did drop a shot with a bogey at the 17th.
Schwartzel is on 13 under 131, two behind the leaders Sebastian Munoz, who followed up his first-round 60 with a three-under-par 69, rookie David Skinns and Ryan Palmer.
US veteran Palmer surged up the leaderboard with 10 birdies in a 10-under-par 62 while Skinns, a 40-year-old from England who finally made it to the PGA Tour via the Korn Ferry developmental circuit, had 10 birdies and a bogey in his nine under 63 at TPC Craig Ranch.
The trio were tied on 15-under-par 129, one stroke in front of American Justin Lower who signed for a 66.
Munoz, who on Thursday became the first player to post two rounds of 60 in the same PGA Tour season, said things were more difficult from the get-go on Friday.
“We had a lot more in-between numbers, we struggled with the speed of the greens on the front. It’s tough to back a 60, but I feel like I did a good job of closing the round and going out with a 69.”
Munoz settled for bogey from a greenside bunker at 11, then after a birdie at 13 he three-putted for bogey at 17.
An 18-foot birdie putt at the 1st was the turning point, said Munoz, who added birdies at 5, 6 and 8.
Skinns, who has missed nine cuts in 14 starts this season, powered up the leaderboard with five birdies in five holes from the 7th through the 11th, a run capped by his 21-foot birdie at 11. At 18 he got up and down from a greenside bunker for a birdie, rolling in a 10-foot putt.
“It has been a bit of a struggle,” Skinns admitted of his first PGA Tour season. “I came off a really nice run on the Korn Ferry Tour to finish and I felt good going into the PGA Tour season.
“Then when you find yourself not getting in every tournament and you start to slip behind a little in the points it’s tough to see yourself continue to fall down the list.
“You’ve eventually got to figure out a different game to play, you can’t keep looking at that otherwise it will demoralise you a little bit.”
Palmer, a four-time PGA Tour winner, is a local favourite, but he hasn’t received the same attention this week as a couple of other North Texas natives – world No 1 and Masters champion Scottie Scheffler and former No 1 Jordan Spieth.
But he gave local fans something to look at, teeing off on 10 and stringing together four straight birdies from the 12th through the 15th – a run that featured a 21-footer at 14. He added two more birdies at 17 and 18 – where he stuck his approach from the rough a foot from the pin.
He picked up four more birdies coming in, capping his round with a six-foot birdie at the 9th.
“Today was a matter of knowing you had to shoot low, put up a good number just to stay within striking distance,” Palmer said.
Spieth was among three players sharing sixth on 132, along with defending champion Lee Kyoung-hoon of South Korea and Chile’s Joaquin Niemann.
Scheffler goes into the weekend six shots off the pace.
© Agence France-Presse