In the PGA Tour's only tournament with an alternate form of scoring, Romero compiled 14 points Friday for a two-day total of 22. That put him one point in front of Gary Woodland and two ahead of Stuart Appleby, Rod Pampling and Charlie Wi.
A modified Stableford scoring system is used for the event, in which eight points are awarded for a double eagle, five for an eagle and two for a birdie. One point is subtracted for a bogey and three are taken away for a double bogey or worse.
Romero lost three points on the opening hole with a double bogey, but he battled back to give himself a chance for what would be only his second PGA Tour victory. His lone win to date came five years ago in New Orleans.
First-round leader Josh Teater failed to collect a point Friday and, with the 15 points he earned on Thursday, was tied for 16th place.
Pampling's 17-point performance was the best of the day and came thanks to nine birdies and a lone bogey.