Todd Barranger (64) and Arron Oberholser (67) are tied for third place at 8-under-par 136, while overnight leader Dicky Pride heads a group of 10 players one shot further back at minus-7.
Lickliter and John Morgan, who is tied for 24th, each carded rounds of 63 on Friday. Lickliter, who had trailed by two shots entering second round play, recorded the lowest 36-hole total on the Omni Tucson National Golf Resort and Spa.
The 33-year-old started on the back nine and birdied the first two holes after knocking both approach shots within five feet of the cup.
'I'm making the putts,' said Lickliter. 'I made a nice little three-footer at the 10th (his first) and then drained a five-footer at the next.'
Lickliter then rolled in a 10-footer for birdie at the 13th to get to minus-8 for the tournament. He birdied the par-5 15th when he stuck his third shot within inches of the hole.
Around the turn, Lickliter really began to heat up. After a par at the first, he rolled off four consecutive birdies beginning at the second. That streak of four straight included a 40-footer at the par-4 third.
'It's very satisfying,' said Lickliter. 'It will be more satisfying if I'm here Sunday afternoon (as the winner).'
The 2001 Kemper Open winner later eagled the eighth when he chipped in from 24-feet out. He did falter with a bogey at the ninth after his drive found water to the right of the fairway and kept him from tying his career-low round of 62.
'It's up there,' Lickliter said in reference to whether this was his best day on the course. 'If I hadn't made bogey on that last hole, it definitely would have been.'
Barranger posted the best round of his PGA Tour career and it came during his 100th round on tour. He got going with three straight birdies starting at the third. His first two birdies were both chip-ins from off the green.
Barranger, who won the 2001 Dayton Open on the Nationwide Tour, eagled the eighth hole when he rolled in a 10-footer. He followed that up with a 10-foot birdie putt at the next.
On the back side, Barranger dropped a 7-iron within six feet of the cup at the par-3 12th to setup birdie. On the next, he knocked a sand-wedge stiff for his final birdie of the round.
'I have been playing really well,' said Barranger. 'I have just been making a ton of mistakes out there. I had my teacher come in this week and we figured out what was going on.'
Sharing fifth place with Pride at 7-under-par 137 are Aaron Baddeley, Kirk Triplett, Garrett Willis, Dean Wilson, Jeff Brehaut, Dan Forsman, Kent Jones, Andy Miller and Brenden Pappas.
Brandel Chamblee had a share of third place at 8-under-par 136, but he was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard. The mistake came at the seventh hole. He was given relief for an embedded ball, but he picked up his ball and re-dropped it a second time after it rolled about a foot. PGA Tour officials said the rule specified he could only re-drop if it had rolled more than two feet leading to the scoring error and the disqualification.
With Chamblee's mistake, the cut line moved from 1-under to even-par allowing 18 more players, including Steve Elkington and Corey Pavin, to make the cut.