Garcia, playing in the morning conditions of day two, added a bogey free 65 to lead by one over Kuchar. The only previous time Garcia has played this event he recorded a final round of 81 in 2009 so the contrast is like chalk and cheese and he not only heads into this weekend with confidence but to Augusta National also.
Kuchar has been 8th in this event in his last two starts although he has not played in Houston for two years Kuchar added a round of 67 to move within one of the Spaniard although his round was completed nearly five hours after the leader's.
There is a three shot break back to Australian Matt Jones and Americans Cameron Tringale, Shawn Stefani and the very much in form Jimmy Walker.
The almost part time golfer Steve Stricker, is another shot further back along with Ben Curtis.
Greg Chalmers was the only other Australian to make the cut in 56th position, last week's winner in San Antonio, Steven Bowditch, struggling to a second round of 78 and he will now head to Augusta to begin preparations for his Masters debut.