Fleetwood & Bradley share Bay Hill lead


Tommy Fleetwood’s round of 66 included two eagles
Arnold Palmer Invitational, second-round leaderboard
-9 T Fleetwood (Eng), K Bradley (US); -5 B Horschel (US), J Vegas (Ven), F Molinari (It), K Mitchell (US), K Kisner (US), R Sloan (Can); Selected: -4 E Pepperell (Eng), M Wallace (Eng), M Fitzpatrick (Eng); -3 J Rose (Eng), I Poulter (Eng); -2 R McIlroy (NI); -1 G McDowell (NI); +1 T Hatton (Eng); +2 P Mickelson (US)
Full leaderboard

England’s Tommy Fleetwood and Keegan Bradley share a four-stroke lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational after both moved to nine under par at Bay Hill.

Fleetwood’s six-under-par 66 included two eagles as he led for much of round two before being joined by Bradley.

Open champion Francesco Molinari is in a six-strong group sharing third spot.

English trio Eddie Pepperell, Matt Wallace and Matthew Fitzpatrick are on four under with defending champion Rory McIlroy two further back after a 70.

Northern Irishman McIlroy’s card included an eagle at the sixth, his 15th hole, and four birdies but his progress was hindered by four bogeys.

Fleetwood, European number one in 2017, dropped a shot at the short second but birdies at the fourth and fifth were followed by an eagle three at the sixth while he also picked up a stroke at the eighth to go to the turn in 32.

The 28-year-old Southport man’s momentum was briefly halted by a bogey at the 10th but he regrouped with his second eagle three of the day at the 12th before gaining another shot at the 16th.

Bradley notches two late birdies to join Fleetwood

2011 USPGA champion Bradley picked up late birdies at the 15th and 16th to join Fleetwood on nine under as he signed for a 68.

Italian Molinari finished strongly with two late birdies to card a 70 which left him on five under in a group including last week’s Honda Classic winner Keith Mitchell, Venezuela’s Jhonattan Vegas, Canada’s Roger Sloan plus American duo Kevin Kisner and Billy Horschel.

Pepperell is in the large group sharing ninth place on four under after five birdies in seven holes on his back nine – including three to finish – saw him sign for a 68.

His compatriots Wallace and Fitzpatrick are also on four under after rounds of 69 and 71 with the group also including Spain’s first-round Rafa Cabrera Bello who was 10 shots worse than his day-one total as he carded a 75 after four bogeys in his last five holes.

The highlight of McIlroy’s round was an eagle three at the sixth – his 15th hole

McIlroy produces inconsistent round

World number two Justin Rose [70] and compatriot Ian Poulter [68] are six off the pace while Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell’s hopes of clinching one of the three Open Championship qualifying spots available at this week’s event were hit as a 75 left him sharing 43rd on one under.

McDowell, now 259th in the world rankings, was sharing third place after a first-round 68 at Bay Hill.

The leading three players in the top 10 at Bay Hill who have not already qualified for The Open will earn places at Royal Portrush.

His follow Northern Irishman McIlroy dropped a shot at the 11th, after starting at the 10th, and while he birdied 16, another bogey on 18 saw him going to the turn in one over.

The world number six birdied three of his next four holes and following a bogey at the fifth, a magnificent second shot to eight feet at the next set up his eagle.

However, the 29-year-old gave back a shot back at the eight after an errant tee shot, with his 25-foot par putt lipping out.

Phil Mickelson missed the cut by one shot after driving woes saw him card a 78 to finish on two over.

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