Monday 19 February 2018

McIlroy still in contention to make the cut at Bay Hill

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland lines up a putt on the 13th green during the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented By MasterCard on March 17, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland lines up a putt on the 13th green during the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented By MasterCard on March 17, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Phil Casey

World number three Rory McIlroy is on course to make the halfway cut of the Arnold Palmer Invitational after adding a 71 to his opening round of 74 at Bay Hill.

Making just his third start of 2017 due to a rib injury, McIlroy bogeyed his first two holes after a wild tee shot on the 10th and another errant drive on the next, but bounced back with a birdie on the 12th and an eagle on the 16th.

The four-time major winner had been unhappy with his approach to the par five after a 326-yard drive, but holed from 30 feet to get under par for the day.

However, the 27-year-old promptly found water with his tee shot on the 17th to give both shots back, before completing an eventful nine holes with a birdie on the 18th.

The front nine was a more sedate affair as McIlroy recorded a solitary birdie and eight pars to finish two shots inside the projected cut.

Elsewhere, England's Matt Fitzpatrick remained firmly in contention to add a first PGA Tour title to his impressive CV on day two.

Fitzpatrick shared the overnight lead at Bay Hill and added a second round of 69 to his opening 67 to reach halfway at eight under par, two behind clubhouse leader Charley Hoffman.

Paul Casey was four shots further back after a 72 while Graeme McDowell was one under par after also shooting 71.

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