Justin Hicks fired a 2-under-par 69 on Friday to secure sole possession of the lead after two rounds of the season- ending Web.com Tour Championship.
The top 60 players are in the field this week, but only the top 25 on the money list at the tournament's conclusion will earn PGA Tour cards for 2013
Hicks, one of six overnight leaders, sits at 8-under 134 after two rounds and has already secured his PGA Tour card for next season. At No. 11 on the money list, he is still seeking his first Web.com Tour win of the year despite producing nine top-10 finishes and 13 top-25 results.
"I'm 38 on Sunday and I try not to think about being 12 years from the Champions Tour but maybe that age has something to do with how patient I've been," Hicks revealed. "We're already thinking that we have a tour card coming as part of my birthday gift. But really a strong week here no matter what it is would be a strong way to finish off this season, especially on my birthday."
Brad Fritsch and Justin Bolli were among the Day 1 leaders, but both golfers carded a 71 on Friday to fall into a tie for second place. The former is 21st on the money list, while the latter is 44th and will need to turn in a strong performance the rest of the weekend to earn his card.
Hicks made the turn at 1-under, then recorded eight straight pars, allowing Fritsch to pull within a shot with a birdie on the par-3 15th.
Fritsch, who is attempting to reach the PGA Tour for the first time in his career, finished with a trio of pars, while Hicks rattled home a birdie on the last to move two strokes clear.
Another Thursday leader, Michael Putnam, sits 30th on the money list and is tied for fourth place with last week's Jacksonville Open winner Russell Henley, James Hahn and Scott Gardiner at 5-under 137.
Henley (3), Hahn (13) and Gardiner (14) all reside within the top-25 in earnings.
On the other end of the spectrum, bubble-watch candidate Camilo Benedetti sits near the bottom of the leaderboard at 3-over. The Columbian will need to make a significant charge in order to maintain his No. 25 money-list ranking.
On the outside looking in at No. 26 and $287 behind Benedetti is Doug LaBelle II, who sits at 1-under 141.
The Web.com Tour Championship offers the largest purse of the season at $1 million; affording PGA hopefuls a significant opportunity to improve their money-list standings.
First place for the tournament garners $180,000, second place takes home $108,000 and third place earns $68,000.
NOTES: Money-list No. 1 Casey Wittenberg shot 71 on Friday. He is tied for 14th place with two others at 3-under...Tag Ridings, No. 51 on the money list, held a share of the first-round lead, but shot 73 on Friday to fall into a tie for eighth place at 4-under...Every winner this season on the Web.com Tour is in the field this week. Wittenberg, Luke Guthrie, Henley, Shawn Stefani and Ben Kohles are the only players with two tour wins this season.