ORLANDO – (Wire Service Report) – Charley Hoffman‘s second round didn’t get off to a good start Friday, but he finished with the lead in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Orlando, Fla. Hoffman recovered from a bogey on his opening hole with seven birdies to shoot a 6-under-par 66 for a 10-under 135 total and a one-shot advantage over first-round leader Emiliano Grillo of Argentina.
Charley Hoffman at Bay Hill
Grillo followed an opening 67 with a 68 and was at 135 through 36 holes in the PGA event named for the legendary Palmer, who died last year.
Alone in third at 136 after a 69 was Matthew Fitzpatrick of England. Next at 137 were Lucas Glover, Kevin Kisler and Marc Leishman.
Leishman had the best second round of the three with a 66. Kisner posted a 67 and Glover a 69.
Hoffman’s seven birdies included the closing hole on each nine.
“I hit some solid shots and was able to make some birdies in the middle of the front nine,” Hoffman said. “Back nine I played pretty well and made some good putts on the back nine and obviously closing with a birdie is always special.”
Ranked No. 85 in the FedExCup standings, Hoffman missed the cut last week at the Valspar Championship. He is searching for his first win since the 2016 Valero Texas Open.
“I’m happy and hopefully keep it going the next two days,” Hoffman said.
Grillo fell out of the lead in spite of chip-in eagles at Nos. 12 and 16. Justin Rose also had two eagles at No. 4 and No. 16.
“It was a very up-and-down round out there,” said Grillo, the 2016 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year. “I somehow managed to post a good round. I didn’t hit it good off the tee.”
Adam Hadwin, the winner last week at the Valspar Championship, was tied for 10th at 140 after a second consecutive 70.
Defending champion Jason Day, ranked No. 2 in the world rankings, was tied for 13th at 141 after a 71. He has made just four starts this year because of injuries and illness with his best finish a tie for fifth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Rory McElroy, ranked No. 3, made the cut after carding a 71 that included an eagle at No. 16.
Palmer’s grandson, Sam Saunders, missed the cut by one shot after two 74s