The Evans resident shot his second consecutive 5-under-par 67 on Friday to take a one-shot lead after two rounds in the Turning Stone Resort Championship. He is at 10-under 134 after another cold, wet and somewhat windy day at Atunyote Golf Club.
Tied for second were Matt Kuchar (68), rookie Leif Olson (69), and Nicholas Thompson (67), whose 14-year-old sister, Alexis, was tied for the second-round lead at the Navistar LPGA Classic in Alabama.
Scott Piercy (66), Fredrik Jacobson (67), and Bo Van Pelt (66) were 8-under. Van Pelt moved into contention with seven birdies on the back nine, six of them in a row. Tim Petrovic (71), who shared the first-round lead with Olson, was at 7-under, tied with Australian rookie Aron Price (65), Jimmy Walker (69) and Troy Matteson (67).
Augusta native Charles Howell shot 72 and is seven back.
Turning Stone is the first tournament of the Fall Series, which is comprised of five events. Players are vying to finish the year in the top 125 on the money list to retain full exemption for 2010, and the 33-year-old Taylor is right on the cusp at No. 131 ($519,282).
"I try not to think about it. Whatever is meant to be is meant to be," Taylor said after his best back-to-back rounds since he notched his lone top 10 of the season, a tie for eighth at the Buick Open in August.
In two trips around the 7,482-yard Atunyote course, Taylor hit 13 of 14 fairways and 16 of 18 greens in regulation. On Friday, he birdied three of the four par 5s, rolled in a 28-foot birdie putt at No. 9 to reach 9-under, and sandwiched a pair of birdies around a bogey at No. 11 to take the lead.
"It keeps the momentum going when you birdie the par 5s," Taylor said. "It just makes it easier on you."
So, too, did that brief dose of decent weather.
"It was pretty pleasant for a while there," Taylor said. "It was drier, but still awfully wet, and then the last few holes the wind started picking up."