Canadian Graham DeLaet eagled the par-4 ninth hole and shot a 4-under 67 on Friday to claim a share of the second-round lead with former World No. 1 Luke Donald at the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head Island, S.C.
DeLaet finds himself with a first-place stake after 36 holes for the first time in his career. The 35-year-old Saskatchewan native missed four cuts this season and still is searching for his first PGA Tour victory.
DeLaet was 1-over through seven holes at Harbour Town Golf Links but got back to even-par at the eighth with a birdie. He continued his good fortune by holing a 109-yard wedge shot on the par-4 ninth for eagle and added birdies at Nos. 11 and 12.
The Englishman Donald chipped in on the 18th hole for his fifth birdie to finish with a 67 and remain even with DeLaet at 10-under-132.
Donald, who had three consecutive birdies on the front nine, is vying for his first PGA Tour title since 2012. The 39-year-old has been a runner-up on four occasions at this tournament.
The last time Donald held or shared the lead after two rounds was at the 2011 RBC Heritage, where he fell in a playoff to Brandt Snedeker.
Poulter recorded five birdies against two bogeys on Friday while Simpson collected nine consecutive pars on the back nine to remain in contention. Simpson, who is a North Carolina native, was a runner-up at this tournament in 2013 after falling in a playoff to Graeme McDowell.
First-round leader Bud Cauley followed up his 63 with a 72 on Friday to find himself in a five-day tie for fifth place with fellow Americans Pat Perez, Jason Dufner and Sam Saunders as well as Canadian Nick Taylor.
Cauley missed the cut in two of his previous three appearances at the RBC Heritage and has never finished better than third on the PGA Tour.
Taylor, who celebrated his 29th birthday on Friday, posted a 5-under 66 to remain in contention as he bids for his second career Tour victory.
South African and reigning champion Branden Grace, who went on to win after posting a first-round lead in 2016, is tied for 32nd after shooting a 71 on Friday. He resides at even par for the tournament.
Former Masters champion Danny Willett missed his second straight cut after he recorded two double bogeys and finished with a 78 on Friday, leaving him 7-over for the tournament.