LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Sebastian Munoz followed up his first-round 60 with a three-under par 69 on Friday to maintain a share of the US PGA Tour Byron Nelson tournament alongside rookie David Skinns and Ryan Palmer.
US veteran Palmer surged up the leaderboard with 10 birdies in a 10-under par 62 while Skinns, a 40-year-old from England who finally made it to the PGA Tour via the Korn Ferry developmental circuit, had 10 birdies and a bogey in his nine-under 63 at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas, north of Dallas.
The trio were tied on 15-under par 129, one stroke in front of American Justin Lower who signed for a 66.
Former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel of South Africa was two back on 13-under 131.
Munoz, who on Thursday became the first player to post two rounds of 60 in the same PGA Tour season, said things were more difficult from the get-go on Friday.
"We had a lot more in-between numbers, we struggled with the speed of the greens on the front. It s tough to back a 60, but I feel like I did a good job of closing the round and going out with a 69."
Munoz settled for bogey from a greenside bunker at 11, then after a birdie at 13 he three-putted for bogey at 17.
An 18-foot birdie putt at the first was the turning point, said Munoz, who added birdies at five, six and eight.
Skinns, who has missed nine cuts in 14 starts this season, powered up the leaderboard with five birdies in five holes from the seventh through the 11th, a run capped by his 21-foot birdie at 11. At 18 he got up and down from a greenside bunker for a birdie, rolling in a 10-foot putt.
"It has been a bit of a struggle," Skinns admitted of his first US PGA Tour season. "I came off a really nice run on the Korn Ferry Tour to finish and I felt good going into the PGA Tour season.
"Then when you find yourself not getting in every tournament and you start to slip behind a little in the points it s tough to see yourself continue to fall down the list.
"You ve eventually got to figure out a different game to play, you can t keep looking at that otherwise it will demoralize you a little bit."
- Had to shoot low -
Palmer, a four-time PGA Tour winner, is a local favorite, but he hasn t received the same attention this week as a couple of other North Texas natives -- world number one and Masters champion Scottie Scheffler and former number one Jordan Spieth.
But he gave local fans something to look at, teeing off on 10 and stringing together four straight birdies from the 12th through the 15th -- a run that featured a 21-footer at 14. He added two more birdies at 17 and 18 -- where he stuck his approach from the rough a foot from the pin.
He picked up four more birdies coming in, capping his round with a six-foot birdie at the ninth.
"Today was a matter of knowing you had to shoot low, put up a good number just to stay within striking distance," Palmer said.
Spieth was among three players sharing sixth on 132, along with defending champion Lee Kyoung-hoon of South Korea and Chile s Joaquin Niemann.
Scheffler goes into the weekend six shots off the pace.