Charley Hoffman Takes Control at Arnold Palmer Invitational After Round 2

As they say, it’s not how you start, but how you finish. While a bogey on No. 1 doesn’t quite qualify for the saying, in golf, the slightest thing can throw you completely off your game.

But Charley Hoffman went on to have a heck of a day.

His 6-under 66 performance helped him leapfrog Round 1 leaders Emiliano Grillo and Matthew Fitzpatrick.

Hoffman racked up seven birdies on the day and parred out the rest of the course at Bay Hill. He sits in a much different position than three of his four previous appearances in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, when he missed the cut. Hoffman’s most recent missed cut at The King’s tournament was in 2013.

The funny thing is, he wasn’t exactly planning to play this year.

Hoffman decided to play at Bay Hill after missing qualification for Dell Match Play, but he wasn’t about to miss out on a chance to honor the late Arnold Palmer either.

“In the schedule, it hasn’t fallen where I would like in the past,” said Hoffman. “I wasn’t in Match Play, and then obviously honoring Arnie is not a hard thing to come here and play.”

Emiliano Grillo did his best to stay in the lead with two birdies and two eagles on the day, one of which came on a bunker shot from 88 feet on the 12th hole. But his 68 fell just short of Hoffman’s round thanks to a couple bogeys, and he trails by one shot heading into Round 3 on Saturday.

Matthew Fitzpatrick, who went toe-to-toe with Grillo in Round 1 for a share of the lead, also had a couple bogeys on the day on the way to shooting a 69, which pushed him down to third at 8-under.

Unfortunately for Palmer’s grandson, Sam Saunders, he missed the cut at 4-over.

Grillo’s eagles notwithstanding, the highlight of the day might have been when Cody Gribble casually gave a big gator a love tap.


Written by BP Staff

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