Steve Pate shot a 66 for the second straight day yesterday to take a one-stroke lead at the halfway point of the PGA Tour's MONY Tournament of Champions at the La Costa Country Club in Carlsbad, Calif.

Pate, a first-time entrant in this exclusive event that is limited to the tournament winners from the previous season, was at 12-under-par 132 after 36 holes and has yet to make a bogey.

In second place was Dave Barr, who matched Pate's 66 despite playing in an occasional drizzle.

British Open champion Nick Faldo had seven straight birdies -- one short of the all-time PGA Tour record -- in shooting a 7-under-par 65, the best round of the tournament.

He was tied at 9-under-par 135 with PGA champion Larry Nelson, who had a 67 yesterday.

Keith Clearwater, a two-time winner as a rookie last season, also had a 67 and, at 136, was the only other player within six shots of the leader.

In the separate competition for seniors, Dave Hill had to overcome painful spasms in his right elbow to salvage a 72 and take the lead at 140.

Hill said he took medication, ultra-sound treatments and had the elbow wrapped before starting play in mild, cloudy weather.

Miller Barber also had a 72 and was one shot back at 141. Orville Moody and Al Geiberger were at 142. Billy Casper, who shared the first-round lead with Hill, slipped to 75 and was at 143.