Hammond shot a second-round 68 to take a one-shot lead at 7-under-par over Spike McRoy, John Kernohan and first-round leader Michael Muehr.
Despite winning this year's Buy.Com Lakeland Classic in February, Hammond resides in 28th position on the money list. With the top 15 earning their 2001 PGA Tour cards, Hammond is in need of a top-three finish this week at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Dothan, Ala..
Hammond first joined the PGA Tour in 1983. He went on to win the 1986 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic and the 1989 Texas Open, where he shot an aggregate total of 258, one stroke shy the all-time 72-hole scoring record.
At eighth on the money list, McRoy has locked up a spot on the 2001 PGA Tour. Friday, he fired a course-record 8-under-par 64, ten shots lower than his opening 74. McRoy, who won the Dakota Dunes Open in July, played fulltime on the PGA Tour in 1997 and 1998. Last year, he split time between the two tours.
Muehr, currently 36th in earnings, shot a first-round 67 to claim the day-one lead in Alabama. However, a 1-under-par 71 on Friday has the former Duke Blue Devil one off the lead entering the weekend.
Kelly Grunewald is in solo-fifth place at 5-under-par. Grunewald is trying to maintain his tenuous hold onto a spot inside the top 15. The Tour rookie currently stands in 14th place in earnings, just $3,000 clear of John Riegger, who is in 16th position.
Riegger is tied for sixth place with Tjaart Van der Walt (39th on the money list) and Lee Porter (53rd) at 3-under-par, four shots off the lead.