Vijay Singh (69), defending champion Joey Sindelar (71) and D.J. Trahan (67) share second place at minus-5.
Tiger Woods, playing for the first time since capturing his fourth green jacket three weeks ago, managed an even-par 72. He is tied for 13th place at 2-under-par 142.
The No. 1 player in the world birdied 10 and 11, but dropped a shot at the 12th. Woods' approach at 14 spun back into water and it was another bogey. He bogeyed the 16th to polish off his even-par 72.
'It was a frustrating finish; as well as I drove it all day today, I didn't take advantage of it,' said Woods. 'Hopefully tomorrow I can get off to the same start and just keep it going.'
Heavy wind blustered from every direction on Friday making play extremely difficult.
Garcia struggled out of the gate on Friday. At the second hole, Garcia hit an 8-iron too far left of the flag and the ball bounced in the bunker. He played a poor shot out of the sand to 12 feet and missed the par putt.
The Spaniard parred his next four holes before driving into the right rough on the par-5 seventh. Garcia's 3-iron second shot sailed left into a greenside bunker, but this time he blasted out to 5 feet and rolled in the birdie putt.
Garcia gave himself a good look at birdie from 6 feet at the eighth but missed. At the difficult par-4 ninth, Garcia split the fairway with his drive, but still had 243 yards to the hole. His 3-wood went right of the green, then Garcia hit his chip too hard and went through the green. Garcia had a makeable chip, but just missed left and tapped in for bogey.
On the second nine, Garcia played a solid drive down the 12th fairway. He hit a punch 7-iron into a hill on the green and the ball took the slope toward the hole and stopped 6 feet from the cup. Garcia rolled in the birdie putt to reach 6-under par for the tournament.
Garcia nearly went into the water on 14, but saved par. He found a front bunker with his second at the par-5 15th and blasted out to 12 feet. Garcia converted that birdie putt for his two-stroke lead.
'The course was playing a bit tougher today and it was a lot windier. Some of those fairways are almost impossible to hit,' said Garcia. 'It felt good to go out there and only make two bogeys as tough as it was playing and make a couple birdies here and there. I missed a couple good chances at birdies, but my putter behaved a little bit better, that's for sure, and I made some key par putts to keep my round going a little bit.'
Garcia, ranked ninth in the world, has three top-10s this season on the PGA Tour, but has yet to seriously threaten the top of the leaderboard. He feels his biggest weakness, his short game, is coming around and could put him in position to claim victory, but the winless start is not bothering him.
'I really think that my short game is becoming much, much better every week. So I think I'm on the right track,' said Garcia, who has his first second-round lead on the PGA Tour since 2001. 'I would love to win this week, but if I don't, it's not going to be a problem. At least I'm giving myself chances.'
Singh started quickly with a birdie at the first, then added another at the fifth. He collected his third birdie at the 10th, and sank a 5-footer for birdie at 12.
Singh, No. 2 in the world, missed the green badly at the 13th and made bogey. He traded a birdie and a bogey at 15 and 16, but still posted one of only 12 rounds under 70 on Friday.
'At times you think it's calm and you're going to be making contact with the ball and the wind comes up,' said Singh. 'The ball can go anywhere. There's no one consistent type of wind. It's blowing steady and then all of a sudden there will be nothing there. If you take the right club, you don't know if it's the right one or not.'
Sindelar mixed four birdies and three bogeys in his round on Friday, while Trahan birdied five of his last eight holes in the second round to shoot his 67, which tied for lowest round of the day.
Scott Verplank and Brett Quigley each posted rounds of 3-under 69 and are tied for fifth with Richard Johnson, who shot a 72 on Friday. They are knotted at 4-under-par 140.
Chris DiMarco, who lost in a playoff to Woods at the Masters, also fired a 67 in round two and shares eighth place with Jeff Sluman (70), Jim Furyk (72), Per-Ulrik Johansson (71) and Greg Owen (67). The group is tied at minus-3.
The 36-hole cut fell at 4-over-par 148 and among the notable players who missed the cut were: Mike Weir (149), Davis Love III (150), David Toms (153) and Zach Johnson (160).