'I worked on my putting after my round yesterday and I really keyed on something,' said Barlow, who topped the leaderboard at 10-under-par 132. 'It feels really nice to be playing well.'
Robert Allenby, who shot a career-best 8-under 63 in the second round of last week's WGC-NEC Invitational, went one better this Friday with a 9-under-par 62. He finished in second place with David Gossett (66) and fellow Australian Peter Lonard (67) at 9-under 133.
Steve Lowery, the runner-up behind last year's winner Joel Edwards, had it to 10-under Friday but bogeyed the final two holes for his second straight 67. He wound up tied for fifth at 8-under-par alongside Gene Sauers (65) and Kevin Sutherland (67).
Rory Sabbatini, the 2000 Air Canada titlist, finished three strokes off the pace with Stephen Ames, Blaine McCallister and Jim McGovern. Chris Riley, who earned his first PGA victory at last week's Reno-Tahoe Open, was part of a seven-way tie at 6-under, while defending champion Edwards was with Fred Funk, 1997 winner Mark Calcavecchia and first-round leader David Frost at minus 5.
The 36-hole cut fell at 1-under-par 141 and included 77 players. Among those to miss the cut were Scott Hoch and Sweden's Jesper Parnevik, who will line up on opposite sides when the Ryder Cup matches get underway one month from now at The Belfry in England.
Full-field scores from the Air Canada Championship