ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Five tournaments into his rookie season on the PGA Tour, Mackenzie Hughes has the 36-hole lead and expects a few nerves.

That weekend he spent with Phil Mickelson should help.

Hughes had another bogey-free round Friday and took care of the par 5s for a 5-under 67, giving him a two-shot lead over C.T. Pan going into the weekend of the RSM Classic, the final PGA Tour event of the year.

Hughes at was at 14-under 128.

Pan also is a rookie, and perhaps they can take inspiration from rookie Cody Gribble winning in Mississippi three weeks ago. Hughes and Pan both spent last year on the Web.com Tour to earn their cards.

“There’s going to be nerves tomorrow, and I’m going to be a little jittery starting out, but that’s completely natural,” Hughes said. “But I just think guys come off the Web.com Tour that … for example, I won in Missouri and I feel like the win translates to being able to win out here. The margin is so small that the things I did on that weekend to win that tournament are the same things I’ll have to do Saturday and Sunday.”

Hughes started his rookie season in the Safeway Open, made the cut and wound up in the same group with Mickelson, who attracted the largest gallery.

“The atmosphere was a dream start for me,” Hughes said. “We played the first day, and I had a 9-footer to make par and stay tied with him. I was so pumped that I made it because I got one more round out of it. He was a super nice guy, really welcoming. It was a nice way to break yourself in.”

There wasn’t much of a gallery on another pristine day for scoring, so ideal that the cut came at 5-under par.

That probably won’t change for the weekend.

Even so, it was an experience that could come in handy for the 25-year-old Canadian.

“Being with him for two days, and with his galleries and all the distractions going on there, that’s probably as good a preparation as you would have for tomorrow and Sunday,” Hughes said. “There was so much learning going on that weekend that I’ll be able to apply.”

It was the lowest cut on the PGA Tour since 5 under at the 2015 Zurich Classic.

Hughes opened with a 9-under 61. He picked up three of his birdies at the par 5s, even on the 18th when he found a fairway bunker off the tee and had to lay up. He hit wedge to 8 feet and made the putt.

“Today was definitely a little more work,” Hughes said, though he quickly added that 67 was “no slouch of a score and I would take two more of those in a heartbeat.”

Hughes and Pan, who shot a 64, played together on the Canadian Tour two years ago, and then all last year on the Web.com Tour. Pan had a brief stay atop the world amateur rankings in 2013 when he won eight times at Washington.

LPGA: Lydia Ko shot a tournament-record 10-under 62 at Naples, Florida, to take a three-stroke lead in the CME Group Tour Championship, putting the top-ranked New Zealander in position to win the player of the year award with a victory Sunday.

Ko birdied four of the first six holes, and had seven birdies and a bogey on the back nine to get to 12-under 132 in the season finale. Ryann O’Toole (67) and So Yeon Ryu (68) were tied for second, and Sei Young Kim (68) and Beatriz Recari (68) followed at 8 under.

“Going into today, definitely my goal wasn’t the 62,” said Ko, the 2014 winner at Tiburon Golf Club.

“The first three holes made great birdies. I was going in with really good momentum, and I was able to carry that for pretty much the rest of my round. I think I was putting good, so if I was within a distance that I felt comfortable I felt like, ‘Hey, I could hole this.’ ”

Ko needs a victory to top Ariya Jutanugarn in the player of the year race, and also would take the season points title and $1 million bonus with a win. The points in the CME Globe standings were reset for the finale, so Ko, Jutanugarn and Brooke Henderson all control their destinies.

EUROPEAN: Sergio Garcia and Francesco Molinari share a one-stroke lead halfway through the World Tour Championship at Dubai, United Arab Emirates, after shooting 5-under-par 67s.

They each made six birdies and a solitary bogey, and moved to 9-under 135 totals, one better than overnight leader Lee Westwood.

Westwood carded a 70, dropping a shot on the final hole after hitting his second shot into the water.

Fellow Englishman Tyrrell Hatton (66), Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger (67), South African Charl Schwartzel (67) and Dutchman Joost Luiten (69) were tied for fourth at 7 under in the season-ending championship of the European Tour.