Cam Davis posted his name on the leaderboard as fellow Australian Lucas Herbert slipped off it during the second round of the PGA Tour's Fortinet Championship.
Herbert's two-shot overnight lead was erased as he followed his brilliant opening 63 with a three-over-par 75 on Friday.
He tumbled into a share of 19th, six shots behind new joint leaders Sahith Theegala (64) and S.H. Kim (67).
World No.49 Davis posted a second straight 68 to climb to tied sixth, four shots off the lead.
Like Herbert, Davis is seeking a second PGA Tour victory in an event missing most of the tour's biggest names.
Winless on the tour, American Theegala holed out for eagle from a greenside bunker and added seven birdies in his second round to get to 12 under, joining South Korean Kim.
They were one shot clear of South Korea's Sangmoon Bae, who posted a 66, while Eric Cole (66) was alone in fourth at 10 unde. Fellow American Kelly Kraft (69) sits in fifth at nine under.
Two-time defending champion Max Homa and fellow star Justin Thomas joined Davis in the five-way tie for sixth at eight under.
Playing one last tournament before they head to Rome to join the US team for the Ryder Cup later this month, Homa carded a 66 while Thomas hit 17 of 18 greens in regulation en route to a 67.
Thomas, using a new driver with a shaft nearly an inch longer, was much more crisp off the tee and got longer, more accurate drives as a result.
"If I drive it like I did today, I'll use it for the rest of my career," Thomas joked.
Australians Geoff Ogilvy (68, even par), Harrison Endycott (74, even), Aaron Baddeley (73, two over), Cameron Percy (76, two over) and Greg Chalmers 75 all missed the halfway cut.
The Fortinet Championship used to be the tour's season-opening event but that's not the case anymore, as the tournament in Napa, California, is the first of seven that comprise the FedEx Fall.
Players who didn't finish in the top 50 can continue to earn points with those finishing the autumn 51st-60 receiving an exemption for the first two signature events of 2024.
The top 125 retain their tour cards.