Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.
The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.
Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.
"We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done — 66, 67, something like that, at least," Montgomerie said. "You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great."
First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Madison's Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.
"I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today," Kelly said. "I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in."
David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.
Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.
The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.
"We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here," Montgomerie said. "It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?"
Andrew Landry topped the crowded CareerBuilder Challenge leaderboard after another low-scoring day in La Quinta, California.
Landry shot a 7-under 65 on PGA West’s Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course to reach 16 under. He opened with a 63 on Thursday at La Quinta Country Club.
“Wind was down again,” Landry said. “It’s like a dome out here.”
Jon Rahm, the first-round leader after a 62 at La Quinta, was a stroke back. He had two early bogeys in a 67 on the Nicklaus layout.
“It’s tough to come back because I feel like I expected myself to go to the range and keep just flushing everything like I did yesterday,” Rahm said.
Jason Kokrak was 14 under after a 67 at Nicklaus. Two-time major champion Zach Johnson was 13 under along with Michael Kim and Martin Piller. Johnson had a 64 at Nicklaus.
Phil Mickelson followed his opening 70 at La Quinta with a 68 at Nicklaus to get to 6 under. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer is playing his first tournament since late October.
“The scores obviously aren’t what I want, but it’s pretty close and I feel good about my game,” Mickelson said. “I feel like this is a great place to start the year and build a foundation for my game. It’s easy to identify the strengths and weaknesses. My iron play has been poor relative to the standards that I have. My driving has been above average.”
• U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka has a wrist injury that will keep him out until the Masters after doctors discovered a partial tear in the tendon. The recovery is expected to be eight to 12 weeks of rest and therapy.
Thomas Pieters holed a bunker shot for a closing birdie and shot a second-round 65 to take a one-stroke lead over Jorge Campillo at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in United Arab Emirates as top-ranked Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy moved into contention.
Johnson shook off his ragged opening-round 72 to shoot a bogey-free 8-under 64, tied for the low round of the tournament, and was four shots back.
McIlroy, playing his first event since October, finished with an eagle on the par-5 18th and was three shots behind Pieters.