For a while, it looked like David Toms would be all alone in the driver’s seat at the Honda Classic. After a late stumble, he has some company, including Ireland's Padraig Harrington.
Toms was as low as six under par but gave back shots at three of his final five holes, settling for his second consecutive five-under 67 and a one-shot lead at 10-under 134.
Defending champion Harrington picked up the pace. Playing in just his third PGA event of the season, the Irishman shot a 67 and is tied for third at 138.
The highest-ranked golfer in the field at number eight, Toms entered the second round part of a four-way tie for the lead and went on another birdie binge to open a three-shot advantage on the Sunrise Course at Mirasol.
Toms, Geoff Ogilvy, Swede Mathias Gronberg and Japan’s Ryuji Imada all opened with 67s, but only Toms was able to maintain that pace in the second round. He had seven birdies and a bogey through 12 holes before trouble set in.
Toms, who has three top-10s this season and won the Sony Open, bogeyed the 14th and 16th before rebounding with an eagle at the par-five 17th. The momentum did not last, and Toms closed with his fourth bogey of the day.
“A lot of birdies, a lot of bogeys, a lot of stuff happening out there,” Toms said. “I did a lot of good stuff. I hit some bad shots, but overall, another good, solid round of golf and I put myself right there with a chance to win the tournament going to the weekend. That is what I am here to try to do, so I am in good position so far.”
Billy Mayfair is alone in second at nine under after signing for a bogey-free 67 that included four birdies on his final five holes.
“I am really happy where I am at,” Mayfair said. “I shot five-under and the biggest key was that stat of no bogeys.”
The World Match Play champion from Australia, Ogilvy signed for a 71 and is at 138 with Harrington, Gronberg (71) and Daniel Chopra (65).
Imada carded a 73 to drop to four-under 140.
Toms started with a bogey on his first hole, rebounded with a birdie at the second and reeled off four consecutive birdies starting at the fourth. He closed his front nine with another birdie to get to 10 under, three shots clear of the field at the time.
“I have putted well on the front nine for some reason,” Toms said.
“I have hit some good shots and then I have made a lot of 10- and 12-foot putts to take advantage of the shots. I three-putted the first hole right out of the box but I came back on number two, which is one of the more difficult holes on the course, and made a nice birdie there to make up for it.”