Charley Hoffman carded a 6-under 66 to move to 10-under 134, one stroke clear of Emiliano Grillo with 36 holes left to play at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard.
Hoffman opened his round Friday with a bogey on the par-4 first hole, but then reeled off seven birdies the rest of the way, including the closing hole on each nine at Bay Hill.
Hoffman’s Strokes Gained stats (thru 36 holes):
Strokes Gained: Off the Tee +2.484 (7)
Strokes Gained: Tee to Green +8.187 (2)
Strokes Gained: Approach the Green +4.899 (7)
Strokes Gained: Around the Green +0.808 (38)
Strokes Gained: Putting +4.056 (6)
Hoffman, currently No. 85 in the FedExCup, entered the week with four made cuts in 10 starts, with a T4 at the Genesis Open his best outing. Most recently he missed the cut at the Valspar Championship with rounds of 73-74.
Hoffman is making his fifth start at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, with a T59 in 2012 his only other made cut. He missed the cut here in 2007, 2008 and 2013. Prior to his opening rounds of 68-66 this week, Hoffman’s only other round in the 60s was an opening-round 69 in 2013 (12 rounds).
Hoffman is in search of his fifth PGA TOUR victory: 2007 CareerBuilder Challenge, 2010 Dell Technologies Championship, 2015 OHL Classic at Mayakoba, 2016 Valero Texas Open.
Hoffman is still in search of his first win when holding the lead/co-lead on TOUR (five prior attempts): 2011 Valero Texas Open (T2), 2013 RBC Heritage (T6), 2015 Dell Technologies Championships (3), 2016 Shell Houston Open (T33), 2016 RBC Heritage (T14). In the five prior second-round leads, half of his ensuing 10 rounds have been 4-over or worse.
Second-Round Lead Statistics
The second-round leader/co-leader has gone on to win 10 of 17 occasions this season, most recently Adam Hadwin at the Valspar Championship.
Dating to 1979 when the event moved to Bay Hill, the second-round leader has held on for victory 16 times. The last to do so was Jason Day in 2016.
At 13-under 131, Day held a two-stroke lead over Henrik Stenson at Bay Hill a year ago. He went on to win by one stroke over Kevin Chappell.
First-round co-leader Emiliano Grillo followed a 5-under 67 with a 4-under 68 to fall to solo-second place, one stroke behind Charley Hoffman.
Grillo is making his 10th start of the 2016-17 season where he has three top-25s, highlighted by a T10 at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba. He has only one missed cut (CareerBuilder Challenge).
Grillo is making his second start in the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard. In 2016, he headed into the final round inside the top 10 following rounds of 68-71-68, but a 1-over 73 in the final round resulted in a T17 finish.
Grillo is the reigning PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year after his 2015-16 campaign which included a win (Safeway Open) and 10 top-25s. He was one of two rookies to advance to the FedExCup Playoffs finale, the TOUR Championship, where he finished T10 to end his season No. 11 in the FedExCup standings.
Grillo has won on the PGA TOUR (2015 Safeway Open), Web.com Tour (2015 Web.com Tour Championship) and PGA TOUR Latinoamérica (2014 Argentine Open).
A native of Resistencia, Argentina, Grillo is one of six Argentinians who has won on the PGA TOUR: Roberto De Vicenzo, José Cóceres, Angel Cabrera, Andres Romero, Fabian Gomez and Emiliano Grillo.
There have only been five international-born players to win at Bay Hill, including Scotland’s Martin Laird (2011), South Africa’s Ernie Els (1998 and 2010), Australia’s Rod Pampling (2006) and Jason Day (2016) and Vijay Singh of Fiji (2007).
Grillo is a member of the famed “Class of 2011” and competed alongside Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Daniel Berger and Ollie Schniederjans during amateur golf days.
Returning to the site of his first domestic PGA TOUR start (2014/MC), England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick followed the only bogey-free round Thursday (67) with a second-round 69 to fall out of share of the first-round lead to solo-third place.
In addition to his missed cut in his tournament debut as an amateur in 2014, Fitzpatrick finished T27 at Bay Hill in 2016.
Fitzpatrick, who is not a member of the PGA TOUR, is making his 21st start on TOUR and 16th as a professional. In three starts this season, Fitzpatrick has a pair of T16s as his best performances, both at World Golf Championships (HSBC Champions and Mexico Championship).
Fitzpatrick’s best showings on the PGA TOUR came at the 2015 WGC-HSBC Champions and the 2016 Masters Tournament, both T7s.
At 22 years of age from Sheffield, England, Fitzpatrick is currently No. 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking. In November, he won his third title on the European Tour, edging out Tyrrell Hatton by one to win the season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
In seven previous starts in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Lucas Glover’s best finish is a T11 in 2009. Following rounds of 68-69, he is currently tied with Kevin Kisner and Marc Leishman at T4.
Glover is making his 10th start of the season where he owns two top-fives: T5 (Sanderson Farms Championship) and 3rd (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open).
Glover earned his first of three PGA TOUR victories down the road in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., at the 2005 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic at Walt Disney World Resort. The 2009 U.S. Open champion is in search of his fourth career PGA TOUR victory and first since the 2011 Wells Fargo Championship.
Defending champion Jason Day opened with rounds of 70-71 and is T13 as he seeks to join Matt Every (2014-15), Tiger Woods (2000-03, 2008-09, 2012-13) and Loren Roberts (1994-95) as back-to-back winners at Bay Hill.
Day is making his seventh start at Bay Hill. Prior to his win in 2016, his best finish was a T17 in 2015. In his four prior starts this season, his his best finish coming at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (T5).
Day is the highest ranked player in the field (No. 2) and one of five players in the top 10 in the world: Rory McIlroy (3), Hideki Matsuyama (4), Henrik Stenson (5) and Rickie Fowler (9).
Additional Player Notes
At T26, 2014 and 2015 Arnold Palmer Invitational champion Matt Every made his first cut on the PGA TOUR since the 2016 Shell Houston Open, 18 starts later. Following that made cut at the Shell Houston Open, he ranked No. 177 in the Official World Golf Ranking, compared to his ranking of No. 927 at the beginning of this week.
Three days removed from his maiden PGA TOUR victory at the Valspar Championship, Adam Hadwin is currently T10 after matching rounds of 2-under 70.
After posting his first over-par score in nine rounds at the Arnold Palmer Invitational (opening-round 1-over 73), Hideki Matsuyama followed with a 3-under 69 to jump to T20.
After an opening-round 6-over 78, Tommy Fleetwood (T38) bounced back with a 12-stroke improvement, carding a 6-under 66. His only other start on TOUR this season led to a runner-up finish at the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship, where he closed with matching 5-under 66s to finish one stroke behind Dustin Johnson.
Henrik Stenson missed the cut this week for the first time in nine starts at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He had finished inside the top 15 in his last five starts at Bay Hill (2016/T3, 2015/2nd, 2014/T5, 2013/T8, 2012/T15).
Justin Rose, who has three top-10 finishes in his last five starts at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, stands T13 and seven strokes behind Charley Hoffman. Rose is making his 12th start in the tournament and has three top-10s in five starts on TOUR this season.
With matching rounds of 74, Arnold Palmer’s grandson Sam Saunders missed the cut by just one shot. Here’s a look at his finishes at this event: MC (2006), T50 (2010), T30 (2011), MC (2012), T43 (2014), T29 (2015), MC (2016).
Amateur Curtis Luck was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard.
Emiliano Grillo (Nos. 12, 16) and Justin Rose (Nos. 4 and 16) both recorded two eagles on their round Friday. In all, the feat has occurred 26 times on TOUR this season.
For the third consecutive season, the winner of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard (along with the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide) will receive a three-year exemption, instead of the two-year exemption awarded at other PGA Tour events.
Past Arnold Palmer Invitational champions in the field: Jason Day/2016 (T13), Matt Every/2014, 2015 (T26), Tim Herron/1999 (T46), Martin Laird/2011 (T46), Robert Gamez/1990 (MC), Ernie Els/1998, 2010 (MC), Chad Campbell/2004 (MC), Rod Pampling/2006 (MC), Vijay Singh/2007 (MC).
Since 2003, the opening three holes at Bay Hill Club and Lodge played as the toughest opening three holes on TOUR playing +0.443 strokes over par. Here’s a look at each hole’s average through two rounds: No. 1 (4.311/2nd toughest), No. 2 (3.206/T5 toughest), No. 3 (4.168/seventh toughest).
Front 9 Back 9 Total Cumulative
R1 36.783 36.925 73.708 —
R2 36.644 35.924 72.568 73.138
Early vs. Late Scoring Average
R1: 74.33 (early), 73.08 (late)
R2: 72.62 (early), 72.52 (late)
The par-4 eighth hole was the hardest in round two with an average of 4.339. The easiest hole for the second straight day was the par-5 16th hole, which played to an average of 4.432.
R1 – Matthew Fitzpatrick (67)
R2 – Tommy Fleetwood (66), Marc Leishman (66), Francesco Molinari (68)