Simpson on top at Quail Hollow
Successive 67s saw former US Open champion Webb Simpson join Robert Streb atop the Well Fargo Championship leaderboard.
The duo lie on 10 under par and share a two-stroke over Martin Flores and Patrick Rodgers.
Big guns Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson are lurking a further shot back on seven under.
Simpson, who claimed his maiden major victory almost three years ago, went on to win the 2013 Shriner’s Hospital for Children Open, but has been winless since.
The 29-year-old had two bogeys on his first six holes, but birdied six of his final 12 – which included chip-ins on the ninth and 17th hole.
Simpson lives in Charlotte, and plays Quail Hollow once or twice a week when he is home during the PGA Tour season.
“I think it helps a little bit. I think knowing where to miss it for the pins we’re playing helps,” he said.
“But the best player is going to win this week no matter how many times somebody’s played. But I definitely feel a little sense of comfort knowing I’ve been here so much.”
Simpson added: “I don’t feel any more pressure now that I’m in the lead, because the end goal is to try to shot as many under as I can. Now I’m 10 shots closer to what that number needs to be.”
Co-leader Streb was not as one fire as he was during his first-round 65, but a solid three-under-par 69 helped him stay tied at the top.
“It’s been going good,” Streb said. “My misses haven’t got me in too much trouble with the exception of 16 (his only bogey of the day). That wasn’t a very good miss there.”
After an opening 71, Mickelson shot the low round of the day, a 66, to move to within three of the lead. The five-time major champion was delighted to finally come good.
“I played really well today,” said Mickelson, who birdied four of his first seven holes, bogeyed the eighth, and then added three more birdies on the back nine.
“I needed a good, solid round. I’ve been turning 66s into 71s like yesterday, so today it was nice to shoot such a good score.”
Further down the field, a number of notables missed the cut, including Adam Scott, J.B. Holmes, Padraig Harrington, Louis Oosthuizen and Jim Furyk.
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