Baird shot a 6-under 66 for a two-day total of 13-under 131. Tom Lehman, who has recently returned to the form that made him one of the top players in the world, was a shot back after a 66.
World No. 1 Vijay Singh, seeking his ninth tour victory of the year and who is trying to become the first player to win $10 million in one season, was tied for 28th at 137.
Baird hopes to become the second straight second-generation golfer to win on the tour.
Brent Geiberger, son of former tour star Al Geiberger, won last week. Baird is the son of Butch Baird, who was the PGA Tour's leading money winner in 1969.