Strange became the first player since Ben Hogan to win back-to-back U.S. Open titles in 1988-89 and has not won a tournament since.
After an acrimonious conclusion to his broadcasting career, Strange became eligible for the 50-and-over circuit this year. But he had yet to make an impact until Friday's round.
"The last thing I want to do is get ahead of myself," Strange said. "You've got to be precise here. I got a little sloppy at the end. It's one baby step at a time.
"It's coming back slowly. I'm not going to fool myself. I'm still trying to get in golf shape. I'm real close now."