Kuchar stands at 8-under-par 136. He was joined there by Chris Baryla (67), Brandt Snedeker (68) as well as Cliff Kresge (69) and Andrew Buckle (69), who shared the first-round lead with Gary Christian.
Craig Kanada posted the low round of the day and a new course record with his 8-under 64. That helped him leap into a tie for sixth at minus-7. He stands alongside Tim O'Neal and Johnson Wagner.
'I was so tired I didn't get nervous,' said Kanada, who had trouble sleeping after watching the Rutgers-Louisville football game Thursday night. 'I didn't even know what I was shooting. I had to look at the standard bearer to figure it out. If I keep making putts I can have a pretty good weekend.'
The focus for players this week is their chance to gain their PGA TOUR card for 2007. Players must finish inside the top 20 on the money list to earn their privileges. Those towards the bottom end of the top 20 are most vulnerable, however no more than two players have ever been bumped out in the past in the final event of the year.
Of the five leaders, Baryla stands to gain the most. He is the only one of the five leaders not currently in the top 20. Currently 60th on the money list, Baryla needs a win this week to earn his PGA TOUR card for next year.
Baryla got off to a quick start with three birdies in the first four holes to move to minus-6. He collected back-to-back birdies from the 11th at The Houstonian.
The 24-year-old Baryla birdied the 14th to move to 9 under. He wrapped bogeys on 15 and 17 around a birdie on 16 to end at minus-8.
Buckle, who is 18th on the money list and needs a solid finish this week, was even-par for his round through five holes with a birdie and a bogey. Buckle birdied six and seven, but faltered to a bogey on nine to turn at minus-6.
The Australian climbed to 9 under with three birdies between the 10th and 16th. Buckle tripped to a bogey on 17 to slip to 8 under.
Snedeker, who is 10th on the money list, was 2 under after nine holes thanks to four birdies and two bogeys. On the back nine, he moved into a share of the lead with three more birdies and a bogey on 13.
Kresge, who is the most secure of the four leaders standing fourth on the money list, opened with consecutive birdies from the first to move to minus-7.
He parred 11 in a row before a birdie on 14. Kresge also birdied 15, but bogeyed the last to fall back into a tie for the lead.
'That would be good to see,' said Kresge of the forecast for stronger winds on Saturday. 'If you're a good player you simply adapt.'
Kuchar, 12th on the money list, flew out of the gate with three straight birdies from the first. He stumbled to bogey on No. 8, but birdied the next three to move to minus-6. Kuchar eagled the par-5 16th and parred the final two holes for his share of the lead.
Boo Weekley is alone in ninth place at 6-under-par 138 after his second straight 3-under 69.
Craig Bowden, who is third on the money list, stands alongside Steve Marino, Brenden Pappas, Kyle Reifers, Chris Tidland, Peter Tomasulo, Paul Claxton, Chad Collins and Scott Gardiner at minus-5 in a share of 10th.