Defending champion Steve Stricker shot a 3-under 69 on Friday and is part of a four-way tie for first after two rounds of the Regions Tradition at Birmingham, Ala.
Jerry Kelly, Germany's Alex Cejka and Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke also share the lead at the major event with a 7-under 137 after two trips around Greystone Golf Country Club.
Cejka also shot 69 on Friday, Kelly finished with a 70 and Clarke shot 71. Clarke was the first-round leader with a 66.
South African Ernie Els (69 on Friday), Dicky Pride (69) and Canada's Stephen Ames (71) are all one shot back.
Stricker had four birdies -- including one on 18 to gain part of the lead -- and one bogey to follow up an opening-round 68.
Cejka also had four birdies and one bogey while Kelly carded four birdies and two bogeys. Clarke had two birdies -- five fewer than the first round -- along with one bogey.
Stricker won the title in 2019 and the event wasn't held last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He sees everyone packed tightly on the leaderboard and figured that will change over the final two rounds.
"We're only halfway home, so we have a weekend to go," Stricker said. "Someone's going to probably bust out of this pack, I would imagine."
Cejka's presence in the tie at the top is a stunner as he was a qualifier who only made the field when Jay Haas withdrew.
"I know it's tough. There's only 80 guys every week in the field," Cejka said. "So many old great players who are privileged out here to play. And I got to prove myself. And if I have to go back to Monday qualifier or do a top 10 to get me in next week, I will do whatever it is necessary to do."
Germany's Bernhard Langer, a two-time event winner, shot 69 and is tied for eighth at 5 under. Joe Durant (70) and Woody Austin (69) also have a 139 total.
Doug Barron is in 11th place after shooting his second consecutive 70.
Among others, John Daly (70) is tied for 20th at 1-under 143, Scotland's Colin Montgomerie (74) is tied for 38th at 3 over, Spain's Jose Maria Olazabal (76) is tied for 45th at 4 over and Fiji's Vijay Singh (77) is tied for 72nd at 10-over 154.
--Field Level Media