Arnold Palmer Invitational: Martin Laird challenges Rory McIlroy

-9 C Conners (Can); -8 M Laird (Sco); –7 V Hovland (Nor), R McIlroy (NI), L Griffin (US); -6 B DeChambeau (US); -5 P Casey (Eng), Sungjae Im (Kor), J Rose (Eng), J Spieth (US)

Selected others: -4 L Westwood (Eng), M Fitzpatrick (Eng), T Fleetwood (Eng); -2 R MacIntyre (Sco); -1 I Poulter (Eng); Level: P Harrington (Ire), T Hatton (Eng), D Willett (Eng); +1 R Knox (Sco)

Former winner Martin Laird played his way into contention alongside Rory McIlroy at the halfway stage of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.

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Rory McIlroy two back of leader Corey Conners at Arnold Palmer Invitational

ORLANDO, Fla. – Corey Conners spent more time grinding out pars than chasing birdies, and that proved to be the right recipe Friday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational as Bay Hill began to bake under a warm sun.
Conners surged into the lead with a 25-foot eagle putt on the par-5 16th hole – his second eagle on that hole in two days – for a 3-under 69 and a one-shot advantage over former Bay Hill winner Martin Laird (67).

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Arnold Palmer Invitational: 3 things to know after Round 2

By: Nick Piastowski March 5, 2021

Corey Conners hit his tee shot on Friday on the 7th hole at Bay Hill.
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One of the contenders has finished first, tied for 31st, tied for second, tied for sixth, tied for fifth and tied for second since last December. Six events, five top sixes. Guess where he’s at the midway point of the Arnold Palmer Invitational? (Hint: It’s not tied for 31st.) Here are three things you need to know after Friday’s second round at Bay Hill in Orlando, Fla.
Corey Conners leads 

Corey Conners eagled the par-5 16th during the first round.

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Jennifer Kupcho overcomes bad migraine to share lead with Austin Ernst at LPGA Drive On

By Beth Ann Nichols | March 5, 2021 7:18 pm Follow @golfweeknichols

OCALA, Florida – A nasty migraine struck Jennifer Kupcho on the 12th hole in the opening round of the LPGA Drive On Championship, blurring her vision for most of the back nine. One a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the worst, she rated it a 10. A stiff neck even led to numbness in her left hand, which kept her from trying to go for the par-5 18th in two. There was no way she could trust herself to hit the shot.

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2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational tee times: Third round pairings for Saturday

By: Jessica Marksbury March 5, 2021

Bryson DeChambeau is only three shots back at the 2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational halfway point.
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The 2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational is already at the halfway point, and continues on Saturday, March 6, with Round 3 at Bay Hill. You can find full third round tee times at the bottom of this post.
Notable pairings for Arnold Palmer Invitational Round 3
Rory McIlroy claimed the early lead after firing a 6-under 66 on Thursday, but his birdie rampage cooled a bit during Friday’s second round.

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Arnold Palmer Invitational: Saturday tee times, TV and streaming info

By Golfweek | March 5, 2021 7:10 pm

For the second consecutive week the PGA Tour is in Florida as it makes its annual stop at Arnie’s place.
Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Florida, plays host this week to the 2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational. Seven of the top 15 players in the Golfweek/Sagarin men’s ranking are in the field, and a few are near the top of the leaderboard after the second round.
Corey Conners leads through 36 holes at 9 under after shooting a second-round 69. Martin Laird sits one shot back at 8 under after carding 5-under 67 on Friday.

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Jennifer Kupcho, Austin Ernst tied at Drive On; Nelly Korda three back

OCALA, Fla. – Jennifer Kupcho and Austin Ernst each shot their second straight 5-under 67 to share the second-round lead Friday in the LPGA Tour’s Drive On Championship.
A day after playing most of the back nine with a migraine that blurs her vision, Kupcho had six birdies and a bogey at Golden Ocala.
“I’m feeling a lot better today,” the 23-year-old former NCAA champion said. “I would say yesterday was pretty rough. Yeah, the whole back nine I just pretty much wanted to get off the golf course and go lay down.

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Rickie Fowler’s next step after making API cut? ‘Play like hell’

ORLANDO, Fla. – Rickie Fowler might still be grinding on his swing, but he’s at least sticking around for the weekend thanks to a late rally Friday at Bay Hill.
After yanking a drive well into the lake on the third hole and making double to drop to 5 over, Fowler responded with three straight birdies, at Nos. 4-6, and parred his final three holes of the day to shoot 2-under 70. At 2 over par, Fowler finished on the cut line, right at T-65 with the top 65 and ties making it to Rounds 3 and 4.

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Robert Gamez shoots 92, then DQ’d after not signing scorecard

ORLANDO, Fla. – Robert Gamez won the 1990 Nestle Invitational at Bay Hill with a walk-off eagle.
On Friday, he just walked off.
Gamez followed an opening 79 with a 20-over 92 in the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and he then was disqualified for failing to sign his scorecard, which wasn’t pretty: no birdies, just five pars, seven bogeys, five doubles and a triple at the par-4 11th hole.
Because Gamez didn’t sign his card, the round was officially wiped out on the leaderboard.

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Arnold Palmer Invitational: Martin Laird in position to win again, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth look to end droughts

By Steve DiMeglio | March 5, 2021 6:34 pm Follow @Steve_DiMeglio

ORLANDO – Martin Laird ended a winless stretch of seven years when he won the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open last fall.
His wait for another PGA Tour title could be much shorter than that.
Like six years and seven months shorter.
Laird shot up the leaderboard late in the day in Friday’s second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a 5-under-par 67 at Bay Hill and is within one shot of lead set by Corey Connors, who posted a 69 earlier to get to 9 under.
“I knew my game was pretty good.

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Patrick Reed among those who missed the cut at Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Steve DiMeglio | March 5, 2021 6:25 pm Follow @Steve_DiMeglio

ORLANDO, Fla. – On Bay Hill’s sun-splashed stage, the curtain was drawn on some of the game’s biggest names after Friday’s second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
While Corey Conners set the pace at 9 under following his 3-under-par 69, among those missing the cut of 2 over were major champions Patrick Reed, Henrik Stenson and Shane Lowly.
Other major winners heading home were Francesco Molinari, who won Arnie’s annual bash in 2019, Graeme McDowell and Charl Schwartzel.

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Players Championship: All but one of top 50 in World ranking headed to TPC Sawgrass

By Garry Smits, Florida Times-Union | March 5, 2021 6:09 pm

The final commitment list for the 2021 Players Championship was released by the PGA Tour on Friday, with 49 of the top 50 players in the world coming to the First Coast to pick up where they left off last year when the tournament was canceled after one round because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Matthew Wolff is the lone top-50 player not in the field. He was replaced by Jhonattan Vegas.
Practice rounds are on March 9-10 and the first round will be March 11 at the Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.

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Laird, McIlroy lead British challenge at Bay Hill

Corey Conners leads with Martin Laird in hot pursuit, while Rory McIlroy manages to stay in contention despite fighting an errant swing during the second round at Bay Hill. Watch the third round live on Sky Sports Golf.

By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 05/03/21 11:42pm

2:24The best of the action from the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where Martin Laird and Rory McIlroy head a strong British challenge at the halfway stage.

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How this pro got a Rules break thanks to a photographer’s zoom lens

By: Nick Piastowski March 5, 2021

Jason Day tries to identify his ball on Friday on the 16th hole at Bay Hill.
twitter.com/pgatour

Jason Day had hit his tee shot right on the par-5 16th at Bay Hill, it had improbably nestled into a bird’s nest some 20 yards above the ground, he had needed a photographer’s zoom lens to identify it, he had dropped and he had finished with a double bogey. But his summation of the hole was better. 
“I think the mama birdie’s going to come back and find another egg there,” Day said.
He had made an actual birdie.

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Gimme that: Celebrate — or forget — a career round with Dewar’s latest whisky

By: GOLF Editors March 5, 2021

Courtesy

Welcome to Gimme That, a GOLF.com column where we’ll highlight one notable item we think you might like. Whether it’s an article of clothing, an intriguing electronic device or anything in between, we want to share these items with you because they’ve generated a bit of chatter by our water cooler (or, these days, on our Slack channel). So sit back, scroll down and keep up with the latest gear golf has to offer.
Scotland and Portugal have been friendly with each other for a long time.

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Should you hit short putts soft or firm? Here’s what the science says.

By: Luke Kerr-Dineen March 5, 2021

Welcome to Play Smart, a game-improvement column that drops every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from Director of Game Improvement content Luke Kerr-Dineen to help you play smarter, better golf.
I live in the northeast, where the snow is just starting to melt. Barring a heartbreaking surprise spring snowstorm, the upcoming golf season is in sight, which means I’ve got the itch to get back out there.
About this time every year I try to set myself a few goals.

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Affidavit: Man found Tiger Woods unconscious after SUV crash

ROLLING HILLS ESTATES, Calif. – A man found Tiger Woods unconscious in a mangled SUV after the Woods crashed the vehicle in Southern California, authorities said in court documents obtained Friday.
The man, who lives near the site in Rolling Hills Estates, heard the crash and walked to the SUV, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Johann Schloegl wrote in an affidavit.
The man told deputies that Woods would not respond to his questions. The first deputy on the scene, Carlos Gonzalez, has said Woods was able to talk to him and answer basic questions.

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Rickie Fowler’s next step should he make API cut? ‘Play like hell’

ORLANDO, Fla. – Rickie Fowler might still be grinding on his swing, but he’s at least got a chance of sticking around for the weekend thanks to a late rally Friday at Bay Hill.
After yanking a drive well into the lake on the third hole and making double to drop to 5 over, Fowler responded with three straight birdies, at Nos. 4-6, and parred his final three holes of the day to shoot 2-under 70. In the clubhouse at 2 over, Fowler was right on the projected cut line when he finished, meaning he’ll have to wait and see if he can finish among the top 65 and ties.

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Jason Day back in API mix despite two doubles, tree ball

ORLANDO, Fla. – For a moment on Friday at Bay Hill Club and Lodge, Jason Day appeared to be birdwatching. With binoculars pressed to his eyes, Day was closely studying a nest in one of the trees right of the 16th fairway.
Only on this particular occasion, Day wasn’t staring down a birdie or eagle – of any variety.
He was trying to identify his golf ball.
“I could see the [Bridgestone] Tour B XS logo on the side and I’m like, ‘That’s it, that’s perfect,’” Day said afterward, adding that he had never had a ball get stuck in a tree before.

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Ashleigh Buhai prepped for 2021 by taking on childhood idol Ernie Els. Took his money too.

By Beth Ann Nichols | March 5, 2021 3:48 pm Follow @golfweeknichols

OCALA, Florida – Ashley Buhai had a life-sized poster of Ernie Els in her bedroom growing up. She first met her idol at the 1998 South Africa Open, which played about five minutes from her home. Buhai took the poster to the tournament to have it signed by the four-time major winner.
They’ve met several times since then but only recently started playing casual golf in south Florida now that Buhai has a home in Palm Beach Gardens. She might have taken a little money off of the Hall of Famer too.

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