Gardiner, who has made only five of 14 cuts and around US$200,000 on the PGA Tour in 2014, produced a second round of 66 over the TPC Wakefield Plantation layout to be within three of the lead held by Harold Varner 111.
Varner 111 is in his first season on the Web.Com Tour and has played two events on the PGA Tour by invite this season. He finished 6th and 13th in his last two Web.Com Tour starts and is clearly finding his feet.
Scottsdale based Victorian, Steve Allan, is the next best of the Australians just one shot behind Gardiner.
Nick O'Hern, Gavin Coles, Mathew Goggin and Alistair Presnell also made the cut but are well back.