Miami: South African Rory Sabbatini rocketed into the early second round lead at the Honda Classic on Friday, firing a six-under 64 to match the PGA National course record.
After a tough opening round that saw only eight players break par, Sabbatini made the most of improved conditions at the Palm Beach Gardens layout, mixing seven birdies with a single bogey to jump to the top of the leaderboard with a midway total of five-under 135.
American Kyle Stanley, who was among the late starters, was lurking one shot back going two-under through five holes while compatriot and overnight leader Spencer Levin was one-over on the day and three off the pace with six to play.
Briton Lee Westwood, who could reclaim the number one world ranking from Germany's Martin Kaymer with a solo third place finish or better, was two-under early in his round.
Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell, the world number four, settled for a one-over 71 to leave him at four-over through two rounds and in danger of missing the cut that is projected at five-over.
Former-Honda champions South African Ernie Els and Colombian Camilo Villegas were also battling to make the weekend.
Canadian Mike Weir, the 2003 US Masters champion, who needed a strong result at the Honda Classic to retain his PGA Tour exempt status, did not come close to his goal, bumbling his way to a 15-over 85 that included a triple bogey, four double bogeys and four bogeys.