The 45-year-old Durant, a four-time tour winner, had 12-under 130 total on the Mayakoba Resort's Greg Norman-designed El Camaleon course. He opened with 64.
"I think the key today is I stayed very patient," he said. "I bogeyed the first hole, but I said, 'It's a long day. Let's be patient and give ourselves some opportunities.' Birdied 12 and 13, so then I felt like I was rolling again.
"Last year I probably would not have been as patient as I was today."
J.P. Hayes (67) was second, and Cameron Beckman (68) was another stroke back at 9-under. Tom Pernice Jr. (68) and Brian Stuard (67) were 8-under.
John Daly was tied for 17th at 5 under after 69. David Duval, second last week at Pebble Beach, followed his opening 71 with 79 to miss the cut.
Augusta native Charles Howell shot 71 and sits at 139. Swainsboro, Ga., resident Blake Adams also shot even-par but missed the cut.
CHAMPIONS TOUR: In Boca Raton, Fla., Tom Jenkins and Jay Haas shot rounds of 8-under-par 64 to take the lead after the first round of the Allianz Championship.
Corey Pavin started on the back side and briefly reached 8-under before a bogey at the eighth. He finished with 65.
Jim Roy, Tim Simpson, Loren Roberts and John Cook were another shot back after 66s.
Augusta native Larry Mize had 70, former Augustan Allen Doyle shot 73 and Augusta native Jim Dent had 76..
LPGA TOUR: In Pattaya, Thailand, Suzann Pettersen took a three-stroke lead after the second round of the Honda PTT LPGA Thailand tournament, shooting 8-under-par 64 at Siam Country Club Pattaya Old Course.
Despite weather that fluctuated between sun and rain, the 2007 champion remained bogey- free with 14-under 130 total, the best two-round performance in the tournament's history.
Hee Young Park of South Korea, last year's runner-up, was in second after an error-free 66.
Michelle Wie, who was followed around the course by hundreds of fans, followed up her 72 on Thursday with a 68.
- Christina Kim was shaken but unhurt when the bus she was riding in crashed leaving the course. The accident Friday involved the bus, a truck and a police car.
Kim shot 72 in the second round.