John Kernohan, Deane Pappas, Oscar Serna, Tim Petrovic and Steve Haskins share second at minus nine.
Couch bogeyed the second hole but rebounded on the front side with back-to-back birdies at Nos. 8 and 9. He made it two in a row again at 11 and 12 but dropped a shot at 14 for his 72.
Both bogeys for Couch came at par-3 holes where the winds, which swirled at 25 miles an hour at points, were at their worst.
'I just felt like every par-three the wind set up bad for me,' said Couch, who won last week's Buy.com Florida Classic. 'I never really felt like I had a chance to get it close.'
Kalinowski opened with two birdies but then bogeyed the par-4 5th. He carded a birdie at No. 9 to get out at 2-under 34.
Kalinowski posted three birdies in a row at the start of the second nine and then birdied the final hole to grab his share of the lead.
The 31-year-old has had trouble with equipment this season. Last week, at the Florida Classic, Kalinowski used new irons and shot a 75. After the round, he weighed them to find out that they did not meet his specifications.
'With me trying to get adjusted to the equipment, I was strictly thinking about how I was going to get around the golf course and put it in the right positions to make pars and birdies,' said Kalinowski.
Kernohan (70), Pappas (68), Petrovic (69) and Haskins (67) all birdied their final hole to get to 9-under while Serna (69) mixed five birdies, four bogeys and an eagle on his round.
Chad Campbell, Matt Peterson, Mike Sullivan and Richard Johnson are tied for eighth at minus eight.
Sixty-six players made the 36-hole cut which fell at 3-under 141.
Click here for full-field scores from the Buy.Com Monterrey Open