Arjun Atwal, who lost in a playoff at the BellSouth Classic in April, posted a 7-under 65 to climb into a tie for second place at 18-under-par 198. He was joined there by Ryan Palmer (67) and Jason Bohn (66).
J.P. Hayes ran off six straight birdies during his round, and nine birdies in a 10-hole stretch, but a double bogey on the 15th held him to an 8-under 64. He shares fifth place with John Rollins, David Hearn, first-round co-leader Matt Hendrix and second-round leader David Edwards at 17-under-par 199.
Jones parred his first four holes before climbing up the leaderboard. He sank a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-5 fifth. The Australian birdied the seventh and made it two in a row as he two-putted for birdie on the par-5 eighth at En-Joie Golf Club.
Jones, who won last year's LaSalle Bank Open on the Nationwide Tour, dropped a pitching-wedge 10 feet from the hole at the 11th and ran that putt in for birdie to get to minus-17.
The 30-year-old's second shot to the par-5 12th stopped within 9 feet of the cup. He drained the putt to jump into the lead at 19 under. Jones parred his final six holes to end one stroke shy of the 54-hole scoring mark.
'We were on the third tee when they blew the horn. I had just hit my tee ball,' said Jones of the mid-round weather delay. 'It gave me a good chance to get my mind back on things.
'I had missed birdie putts on the first couple of holes and hit my ball left of the cart path. But now I am in a position I want to be in. I'm excited about it. I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing.'
Atwal got his round going with a birdie on the second. He then drained four birdies in a five-hole stretch from the fifth to jump to 16 under. Around the turn, the 32-year-old birdied 12 and 16 to share second place.
Bohn, whose lone top-25 finish this year came at the Buick Invitational where he shared 11th place, parred his first five holes. He sank a birdie putt on the sixth.
The 32-year-old converted consecutive birdie chances from the eighth. Around the turn, Bohn faltered to a bogey on the 11th. He came back with a birdie on the 12th.
Bohn made it two straight with a birdie on No. 13. He capped a run of three straight birdies as he birdied the 14th to get to minus-17. Bohn's final birdie came on the par-3 17th.
Palmer could have had the lead by himself if not for two back-nine bogeys. He eagled the third to jump to 15 under. The 28-year-old then birdied Nos. 5 and 8 to get to minus-17.
The defending champion at the Funai Classic slipped to a bogey on the 10th. He got that stroke back with a birdie on No. 12. Palmer got to 19-under with back-to-back birdies from the 16th. However, he bogeyed the last to drop into a tie for second place.
Jim McGovern, Michael Bradley and Mathias Gronberg share 10th place at 16-under-par 200. Chris Smith is one stroke further back at minus-15.
Joey Sindelar, the 1987 champion here, leads a group of six players at 14-under-par 202.