Burton, who tied incoming Georgia player Zachary Healy for the low round of the day, was one of only nine players to break par on the 6,727-yard, par-70 Idle Hour Club layout. He made five birdies, with his only dropped shot coming at the 454-yard, par-4 seventh hole.
Burton, who will be a fifth-year senior at Kennesaw State next season, leads a trio of players at 2-under — Healy, Stan Gann Jr. and Stephen Fisk.
Mercer’s Trey Rule, the first-round leader, struggled to a 74 and is in a pack of five players at 1-under.
Seventy-seven players, including 12 of the 20 players in the field with Cobb County ties, survived the 36-hole cut, which came at 8-over.
Kennesaw State assistant golf coach Chad Wilson, former Harrison High School and current South Carolina standout Blaine Woodruff and Acworth’s Rob VanGorder Jr. will each start today’s third round at 2-over, six shots behind Burton.
After shooting an opening-round 69, Wilson followed with a 73, while VanGorder matched him with rounds of 70-72.
Woodruff started his second round on the back nine with a birdie on No. 10, but four bogeys on the next eight holes left him making the turn at 3-over. Five birdies on the front nine helped offset a bogey and a double bogey and let Woodruff get in the clubhouse with a 72.
Former Whitefield Academy standout Ty Hampel was 4-under through his first 10 holes to get within three shots of the lead, but two bogeys and double bogey coming in left him with an even-par 70 and 3-over for the tournament.
Kennesaw’s Daniel Kim was 10-over par for the tournament with six holes left in his round, but two birdies and an eagle on the 351-yard, par-4 14th helped him finish at even-par for the day, 7 over for the tournament and safely inside the cut line.
A number of prominent players will not be playing on the weekend.
Travis Williamson, last year’s runner-up, could not recover from his opening-round 78. His 71 left him one shot outside the cut line.
Georgia’s Mookie DeMoss and Sam Straka also missed the cut. DeMoss shot an opening-round 69, but an 81 on Friday sent him home early. Straka, who opened with a 73, had an even more disappointing day as he had a triple bogey and a pair of quadruple bogeys, en route to an 84.
Former Whitefield Academy standout Anders Olsson (74-78), Kennesaw State’s Buster Bruton (80-72) and Harrison’s Luke Schniederjans (78-79) were among the locals who missed the cut.