(CNN) -- Martin Kaymer built upon his record equaling opening round of 63 at Sawgrass Friday to head the Players Championship at the halfway stage.
The German carded a three-under-par second round of 69 to take his overall tournament score to 12-under-par.
Kaymer, an early starter on Friday, leads the way from Jordan Spieth in second place at 11-under-par and Russell Henley three shots further back at 8-under par.
Jim Furyk, Lee Westwood, Gary Woodland, Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia are all tied for fourth place at six-under-par.
"It was very difficult today, a little bit tougher (than yesterday)," Kaymer told Sky Sports after reaching the clubhouse. "When you shoot such a low round your expectations are very."
Kaymer, a former world No. 1, has not won a tournament since November 2011 and struggled throughout 2013.
Yet he become only the fourth player in TPC history to shoot a 63 -- the others being Greg Norman, Fred Couples and Roberto Castro.
The 29-year-old never come close to replicating this thrilling form on Friday but remained content with a steady showing that featured five birdies and two bogeys.
"69 was a very good score but it was a little bit more tough (today). The pins were in some corners and it was a little bit more windy so I'm pleased."
Kaymer started the day two shots ahead of Henley but will be looking over his shoulder from the start on Saturday after a barnstorming second round from Spieth.
The 20-year-old Texan has yet to card a bogey in 36 holes at the famous Sawgrass course and produced a near majestic display again Friday, holing six birdies to secure a second round score of 66.
Any of the group at six-under-par, meanwhile, will fancy their chances if they can put an run of form together over the weekend.
Elsewhere on the course, former U.S. Masters PGA Championship winner Rory McIlroy just made the cut after a birdie on the last secured a round of 74.
The Northern Irishman had been five-under-par after just 11 holes on the opening day before fading badly.
One man not so lucky at the 18th, however, was Phil Mickelson. The five-time major champion missed a birdie putt that would have seen him make the cut but will now be forced to take the early flight home instead.