PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Brendan Steele made a couple of big mistakes down the stretch, and still was more than good enough to grab the outright lead at the midpoint of The Honda Classic.

Steele shot a 3-under 67 on Friday, getting to 5 under for the week and putting himself a shot clear of J.T. Poston (69), Lee Westwood (69) and Luke Donald (66) after the second round at PGA National.

This is Steele’s ninth time playing the Honda and the first time he’s ended any round at PGA National with the lead. He missed the cut last year by 10 shots, but most of what he’s doing so far this year has worked — that is, until he made bogey on two of his last three holes Friday.

“My first few years here I couldn't quite figure it out,” Steele said. “I thought maybe it wasn't a good course for me. ... I don't feel like it's a course you can just jump out your first time and have it nailed. You have to see it in all the different winds and conditions that you have.”

The cut was 3 over, and most of the biggest names in the field aren’t sticking around for the weekend. Among them: Brooks Koepka, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose and defending champion Keith Mitchell. Koepka shot a 4-over 74 for the second consecutive day and missed the cut by five shots. Fowler (68) missed an eagle putt at the par-5 18th that would have gotten him to the weekend and fell a shot shy, Rose (74) was 6 over and missed by three shots, while Mitchell (72) missed by five shots.

“You can rack up some big numbers pretty quick,” Koepka said.

Steele had a chance to take an even bigger lead into the weekend.

The famed Bear Trap, PGA National’s stretch of holes 15-17, has never been overly kind to Steele — who was 26 over on those three holes in 31 rounds on that triumvirate before Friday. But his tee ball on the par-3 15th went around the back of the hole before lipping out and stopping inches shy of an ace, and he followed that up with another birdie on the par-3 17th.

Thing was, the 16th and 18th got him. A bogey on the par-4 16th was the first miscue, and then his approach sailed over the green at the finishing hole to lead to another dropped shot. Still, the three-time winner on tour — the last of those coming when he went back-to-back at the Safeway Open in 2018 — left more than satisfied.

“I think a course like this always suits me a little bit better,” Steele said. “I feel like I can make birdies on this course maybe more than other guys can, and I don't necessarily feel that way a lot of weeks. ... That gives me some confidence, and I definitely feel like harder is usually better for me.”

Steele missed a chance for a victory in January in Hawaii, falling to Cameron Smith in a playoff after taking a three-stroke lead into the final round.

U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland put himself squarely in the mix with a 67 and thinks there’s a simple reason why tough courses like PGA National appeal to him.

“I think it's definitely mental,” Woodland said. “I probably focus a little bit more. You've got to hit shots out here. You've got to work the golf ball both ways. You've got to ride the wind. I love playing in the wind. But this golf course is as demanding as we see, so you've got to be ready from the get-go.”

Woodland was tied for fifth at 3 under with Sepp Straka (67), Cameron Davis (67) and Nick Watney (66).

Donald got into the mix as well, looking for his first win in the U.S. since 2012 and the first anywhere since 2013.

Donald had the best round of the day at 66, tied with a pair of South Korean players — Byeong Hun An and Sungjae Im.

“It's probably been a little bit of a lean stretch,” Donald said. “But yeah, I feel like I've been making progress in the last four months with my swing and feeling more comfortable on the golf course.”

Zach Johnson briefly got to 5 under, then posted consecutive bogeys — and hit real trouble on the par-4 11th.

His second shot went into the water, ending up in a muddy spot just at the edge of some long grass. Johnson elected to play his third from there, trying to knock the ball skyward toward the green — but only managing to bury it further into the mud. Johnson had to retreat about 125 yards back up the fairway, played another approach and two-putted from 45 feet for a triple-bogey 7.

Just like that, he went from tied for sixth and one shot back to tied for 23rd and four shots off the lead. He finished with a 75, going to 2 over for the week.

DIVOTS: Matt Every birdied his final hole to shoot 15-over 85. He put four balls in the water on the par-3 5th and took an octuple-bogey 11. ... Michael Thompson’s record streak of Honda rounds without a ball in the water on the Bear Trap is over. Thompson put his tee ball on the par-3 15th in the water, his first such mistake in 30 Honda rounds at PGA National. ... Bronson Burgoon withdrew after nine holes citing a neck injury. ... First-round co-leaders Harris English (74) and Tom Lewis (75) both slipped well of the pace, but comfortably made the cut. English was even par, Lewis 1 over.

Friday

At PGA National (Champions)

Palm Beach Gardens Fla.

Purse: $7 million

Yardage: 7,125; Par: 70

Second Round

Brendan Steele 68-67—135 -5

J.T. Poston 67-69—136 -4

Luke Donald 70-66—136 -4

Lee Westwood 67-69—136 -4

Gary Woodland 70-67—137 -3

Nick Watney 71-66—137 -3

Sepp Straka 70-67—137 -3

Cameron Davis 70-67—137 -3

Shane Lowry 69-69—138 -2

Sungjae Im 72-66—138 -2

Jamie Lovemark 69-69—138 -2

Tommy Fleetwood 70-68—138 -2

Charl Schwartzel 69-69—138 -2

Richy Werenski 70-68—138 -2

Harold Varner III 69-70—139 -1

Kevin Streelman 69-70—139 -1

Daniel Berger 69-70—139 -1

Russell Henley 70-69—139 -1

Maverick McNealy 70-69—139 -1

Robby Shelton 70-69—139 -1

Hudson Swafford 70-69—139 -1

Adam Long 71-68—139 -1

Cameron Tringale 67-72—139 -1

Mark Hubbard 69-71—140 E

Harris English 66-74—140 E

Kyoung-Hoon Lee 69-71—140 E

Talor Gooch 71-69—140 E

Rory Sabbatini 71-69—140 E

Patrick Rodgers 69-71—140 E

Harry Higgs 72-68—140 E

Ian Poulter 70-70—140 E

Billy Horschel 73-67—140 E

Sam Burns 69-71—140 E

Beau Hossler 70-71—141 +1

Grayson Murray 73-68—141 +1

Jimmy Walker 72-69—141 +1

Aaron Wise 71-70—141 +1

Jhonattan Vegas 70-71—141 +1

Kurt Kitayama 70-71—141 +1

Fabián Gómez 72-69—141 +1

Brice Garnett 72-69—141 +1

Brandon Hagy 70-71—141 +1

Tom Lewis 66-75—141 +1

Stewart Cink 73-69—142 +2

Patton Kizzire 70-72—142 +2

Jason Dufner 70-72—142 +2

Matthew Wolff 72-70—142 +2

Brian Stuard 67-75—142 +2

Scott Stallings 70-72—142 +2

Sam Ryder 71-71—142 +2

Bud Cauley 70-72—142 +2

Vaughn Taylor 71-71—142 +2

Wyndham Clark 68-74—142 +2

Byeong Hun An 76-66—142 +2

Zach Johnson 67-75—142 +2

Ryan Palmer 70-72—142 +2

Austin Cook 72-70—142 +2

Hayden Buckley 72-70—142 +2

Danny Lee 70-73—143 +3

Michael Thompson 70-73—143 +3

Brian Harman 71-72—143 +3

Mackenzie Hughes 71-72—143 +3

Chris Baker 70-73—143 +3

Dylan Frittelli 74-69—143 +3

Cameron Percy 69-74—143 +3

Matt Jones 70-73—143 +3

Matthew NeSmith 71-72—143 +3

Kramer Hickok 73-70—143 +3

Mark Anderson 71-72—143 +3

Missed cut

John Huh 72-72—144 +4

Sean O'Hair 73-71—144 +4

Matt Wallace 71-73—144 +4

Ted Potter, Jr. 72-72—144 +4

Tyler Duncan 72-72—144 +4

Jim Herman 74-70—144 +4

Lucas Bjerregaard 73-71—144 +4

Doc Redman 68-76—144 +4

Luke List 73-71—144 +4

C.T. Pan 72-72—144 +4

Rickie Fowler 76-68—144 +4

Kiradech Aphibarnrat 73-71—144 +4

Sebastian Cappelen 72-72—144 +4

D.J. Trahan 74-71—145 +5

David Hearn 74-71—145 +5

Russell Knox 73-72—145 +5

Daniel Wetterich 72-73—145 +5

Adam Schenk 75-70—145 +5

Si Woo Kim 77-68—145 +5

Martin Trainer 72-73—145 +5

Joaquin Niemann 74-71—145 +5

Lucas Glover 72-73—145 +5

Chris Kirk 72-73—145 +5

Josh Teater 71-74—145 +5

Kevin Tway 72-74—146 +6

Andrew McCain 72-74—146 +6

Denny McCarthy 73-73—146 +6

Xinjun Zhang 73-73—146 +6

Jim Furyk 78-68—146 +6

Keegan Bradley 70-76—146 +6

Justin Rose 72-74—146 +6

Padraig Harrington 72-74—146 +6

Chase Seiffert 74-72—146 +6

Rob Oppenheim 71-75—146 +6

Tom Hoge 72-75—147 +7

Keith Mitchell 75-72—147 +7

Scott Brown 75-72—147 +7

Bo Hoag 75-72—147 +7

Seung-Yul Noh 75-72—147 +7

Kyle Stanley 73-74—147 +7

Scott Harrington 74-74—148 +8

Chris Stroud 72-76—148 +8

Corey Conners 73-75—148 +8

Brooks Koepka 74-74—148 +8

Roger Sloan 74-74—148 +8

Tyler McCumber 73-75—148 +8

Vincent Whaley 75-73—148 +8

Michael Gligic 72-76—148 +8

Erik van Rooyen 74-74—148 +8

Vijay Singh 76-73—149 +9

Louis Oosthuizen 74-75—149 +9

Joseph Bramlett 77-72—149 +9

Chesson Hadley 71-78—149 +9

Ryan Armour 74-75—149 +9

Brian Gay 74-75—149 +9

Doug Ghim 74-76—150 +10

Zac Blair 76-74—150 +10

Peter Malnati 74-76—150 +10

Arjun Atwal 75-75—150 +10

Viktor Hovland 77-73—150 +10

Tim Wilkinson 69-81—150 +10

Wes Roach 75-75—150 +10

Robert Streb 77-74—151 +11

Hank Lebioda 73-78—151 +11

Camilo Villegas 75-77—152 +12

Greg Chalmers 75-77—152 +12

Emiliano Grillo 74-78—152 +12

Bo Van Pelt 77-75—152 +12

Ryo Ishikawa 76-77—153 +13

Davis Love III 75-79—154 +14

Justin Bertsch 76-79—155 +15

Satoshi Kodaira 80-75—155 +15

Henrik Norlander 75-81—156 +16

Matt Every 74-85—159 +19