Scott Gardiner's 7-under is tops for now at Quail Hollow, but if Phil Mickelson keeps playing the way he has thus far, that might not last long.
Gardiner, a 37-year-old Australian in his first season on the PGA Tour, made a strong run by birdieing four straight holes at 5-9 before he took the turn Friday. He's only won two events in his career.
But there's a pack right behind Gardiner, and Mickelson is lurking. Lefty has taken top-10 finishes six times in Charlotte, but never brought home a title. He's putting as well as he ever has this week in Charlotte, and birdied his first two holes on the day. He's at 6-under through four holes.
Rory McIlroy, whose play thus far Emily Kay broke down, shot a 1-under on the day to join Mickelson amongst five golfers currently tied at 6-under. That pack includes Lee Westwood and Gardiner's countryman Rod Pampling. The World No. 2 is looking to win for the second time at the Wells Fargo after getting his first tour win in Charlotte just two years ago.
Six golfers are at five back. Webb Simpson, considered a contender by many due to the familiarity the Raleigh native has with his home course, has had a rough go of it, shooting 1-over par to finish 1-over par.
After starting the day even to par, Bubba Watson shot a 4-over, surprisingly pushing him to the wrong side of the cut line. Other notables likely to miss the 1-over cut include Nicolas Colsaerts, Rory Sabbatini, Jesper Parnevik (all 3-over), Scott Verplank (4-over), and a dreadful Padraig Harrington (9-over).
A complete leaderboard can be found at Golf.com.