Benton Harbor, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Kiyoshi Murota fired the low round of the day with a 6-under 65 on Friday to join a group of five other players atop the leaderboard of the Senior PGA Championship.
Murota was joined by two-time Senior PGA Championship winner Tom Watson (68), Bernhard Langer (68), Colin Montgomerie (69), Bart Bryant (67) and Steen Tinning (66) at 4-under-par 138.
"We all knew that we were all playing well," said Montgomerie. "I think we all feed off each other."
Dan Forsman (73), Russ Cochran (69), Mark Brooks (71), Stephen Ames (68) and Steve Pate (67) shared seventh place at 3-under, while first-round leader Joe Durant tripped to a 4-over 75 during his second round at The Golf Club at Harbor Shores to fall into a tie for 12th at 2-under 140.
Also in 12th place was Greg Bruckner (71), Gary Hallberg (70), Duffy Waldorf (70), Scott Simpson (69) and Jay Haas (71).
Murota started on the back nine and birdied the 10th. He later gave that shot back with a bogey at the 13th, but then rolled in birdies at the 15th and 18th to make the turn at even par.
After parring his next four holes, Murota eagled the fifth to move to 2-under. He recorded another eagle at the ninth to claim his share of the lead.
Montgomerie parred his first four holes before rolling in a birdie at the fifth. He moved to 4-under with a birdie at the ninth.
A bogey at the 14th dropped him to minus-3, but he bounced right back with an eagle at the 15th to jump to 5-under. He bogeyed the 17th to fall back to 4- under and parred the last to end there.
Bryant also reached 5-under during his round with birdies at the first, sixth, ninth, 13th, 15th and 17th around a bogey at the 10th, but he also could not hang on to the outright lead and bogeyed the 18th to fall back into the group at minus-4.
Watson had three birdies and six pars during an outward 33 to make the turn at 4-under.
He then made a mess of the 12th after an errant drive en route to a double- bogey 6 to fall back to 2-under.
Watson, however, got those strokes back with birdies at Nos. 15 and 17 to reclaim his share of the lead.
"I had one hiccup at No. 12, where I messed up around the green and took four to get down from the front and made double-bogey there," said Watson. "But all in all, I was very happy with the round."
Langer countered a lone bogey with four birdies during his round, while Tinning was the lone member of the leaders to record a bogey-free round with five birdies.
"This is great practice for me, playing with these big fellows, so tomorrow I just got to try and do what I do best, and that's go and play my game and then see how I come out at the end of the day," Tinning said about his approach for the weekend.
NOTES: Watson won this tournament in 2001 and 2011 among his six major titles on the Champions Tour ... Langer is a two-time major winner on the Champions Tour, earning the titles at the U.S. Senior Open and Senior British Open in 2010 ... Murota has six career wins on the Japan Tour and eight on the Japan PGA Senior Tour ... Tinning was the 2013 Rookie of the Year on the European Senior Tour ... Kenny Perry, who won the Regions Tradition last week for his third straight major title on the Champions Tour, tripped to a 4-over 75 during his second round and sits in a tie for 43rd place at 3-over 145.