REUTERS: Matt Kuchar maintained the lead in the second round at the Genesis Open on Friday but Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott loomed large in the rear view mirror in perfect winter conditions in southern California.
On a day when tournament host Tiger Woods frittered away several shots with some poor wedge play and fell nine shots from the lead, Kuchar compiled a respectable two-under-par 69 at Riviera in Los Angeles.
In search of his 10th PGA Tour victory, the American posted a nine-under 133 total for a two-shot advantage over Northern Irishman McIlroy (67) and Americans Harold Varner (68) and Wyndham Clark (68).
Australian Scott shot the lowest score of the day, a bogey-free 64, to join a group three behind.
Meanwhile, Woods has plenty of work to do to have a chance of posting what would be a record 83rd PGA Tour victory, at a tournament where he has never lifted the trophy.
He was livid with some sloppy wedge play that led to a double-bogey at the 15th hole and a bogey at the third.
"I made some bad mistakes out there. Three throwaway shots with wedges is something I rarely ever do," he told Golf Channel after shooting 73. "Because of that I shot over par."
Brooks Koepka and Jordan Spieth joined Woods at even par, while Justin Thomas, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day missed the cut.
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina)