Reigning British Open and PGA champion Padraig Harrington bogeyed two of his first four holes and never got on track after the second round of the Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines Golf Course.
Harrington, who is playing in his first tournament of the season after having two non-malignant melanomas removed from near his right eye, carded a 74 to fall 12 shots off the lead held by Camillo Villegas.
Englishman Luke Donald, though, heads a cluster of five players tied for sixth at 139.
Villegas shot a two-under-par 70 to stay atop the leaderboard , the Colombian holding a one-shot lead over the hard-charging John Rollins, whose brilliant eight under 64 was marred by a bogey at the final hole.
A winner of two events last year, including the Tour Championship, Villegas moved to 11-under 133. He shot a blistering nine-under-par 63 in Thursday’s first round.
Villegas had extended the lead to six strokes midway through yesterday’s round, but Rollins roared into contention with a sensational final nine holes.
Rollins, who started his round on the 10th hole, made up six shots in an eight-hole span on the front side, including a birdie-eagle-birdie spree from numbers four to six.
Bidding for his first title since the 2006 BC Open, Rollins pulled into a tie with Villegas after a birdie at the par-three eighth.
With a chance to grab the outright lead at the par-five ninth, Rollins drove into the rough and hit his third shot into a greenside bunker, forcing him to settle for a bogey and sole possession of second place.
Charley Hoffman also made a late run with birdies on three of the final five holes en route to a six-under 66. He is four shots back and alone in third place at 137.
Paul Goydos (66) and Nick Watney (69) are tied for fourth place at six-under 138. England’s Luke Donald (69) heads a cluster of five players at 139.
Aaron Baddeley and Davis Love III, who started the day two shots off the pace, both struggled and fell back in the pack. Baddeley had five bogeys and a double-bogey to fall nine shots off the lead, while Love (77) had six bogeys to drop 10 behind.
Phil Mickelson, who has won this event three times, had a roller-coaster round with four birdies and four bogeys in his even-par 72 to leave him at two-under for the tournament.
Other Europeans include England’s Greg Owen who is tied for 50th along with Harrington and Jesper Parnevik of Sweden.