Phil Mickelson was among the casualties as a plethora of big names missed the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open on Friday.
The American floundered on the so-called easier north course, completing his round with three straight bogies to finish at one-over-par.
World number two and defending champion Jason Day was another who is heading home early, as is Rickie Fowler.
At the other end of the leaderboard, K.J. Choi is on target for a first PGA Tour win in five years after a round of 67 on the north course gave him a share of the lead with Gary Woodland, who also fired a 67, but on the south course.
Behind them Dustin Johnson is a shot back on eight-under, with joint overnight leader Scott Brown a further shot back.
Andrew Loupe, who shared the overnight lead with Brown, had a disastrous day, shooting a 75 on the south course to leave him six strokes behind the pace.
Leaderboard: -9 Woodland, Choi, -8 D Johnson, -7 Laird, Brown, Horschel, -6 Jacobson, Streelman, -6 Kim, Campbell, Holmes, Huh, Oppenheim
Scotland’s Connor Syme and Englishman Matthew Jordan were also part of the successful quintet.
The English Open has been revived as part of the new schedule.
Close House Golf Club, near Newcastle, will host the British Masters on July 22.
The event was last staged in 2002.
The tournament at Close House, scheduled to start on July 30, is set to be the first European Tour event since the coronavirus crisis halted action.
The world number one believes it would be the ‘right call’ to push the event back to 2021.
The exhibition match, against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady, raised 20 million dollars.
The Dutchman finished third and second in the first two weeks of the home-based competition.
NFL stars Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will also be involved.
The US President was among the viewers watching the TaylorMade Driving Relief.