Weekend Preview –PGA Tour – Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard – Bay Hill Club and Lodge– Orlando, Florida –
Morgan Hoffmann tees off in the final group Saturday holding his first 36-hole lead on the PGA Tour.
At 13-under, he leads the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill following rounds of 66-65. He tees off at 1:55 p.m. local time alongside defending champion Matt Every, who sits three shots back at 10-under.
Henrik Stenson and Harris English (both 10-under) are the second-to-last pair off the final tee Saturday at Bay Hill Lodge and Golf Club. Stenson, No. 3 in the Official World Golf Ranking, posted a back-nine 30 Friday to card 66.
Stenson, who finished T-8 and T-5 here in the last two seasons, nearly won last week as he ended up a shot outside of the playoff at the Valspar Championship. He was in the mix through 36 holes at the WGC-Cadillac Championship.
Ben Martin, who won the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas last fall, is alone in fifth place at 9-under.
Rory McIlroy headlines the group at T-6. McIlroy, who shot 66 Friday, sits 8-under and five back. It marked the first time Rory broke 70 on the PGA Tour this season in just a handful of tournaments.
All eyes will be on Hoffmann, who is trying to hold his lead which has been a difficult task on tour. Look for Rory and Stenson to challenge on Moving Day.
Expect someone from the group at T-10 at 7-under to take advantage of Moving Day. The group includes Louis Oosthuizen, Kevin Na, Brooks Koepka and Ian Poulter. Na has four Top 15s at Bay Hill including a runner-up in 2010.
Koepka, a 33-to-1 betting pick at www.ladbrokes.com, won in Phoenix earlier this season. Poulter is an interesting selection at 50-1 to start the week. Poulter, who has 16 worldwide victories, was in position to capture The Honda Classic before a late collapse.
Other Golf news:
- Masters champion Bubba Watson withdrew earlier this week when a close friend passed away.
- McIlroy is trying to win his 10th career tournament this week. If he pulls it off, it would become just the third player to win 10 times before age 26. Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus are the other two to accomplish the feat.
- Stacy Lewis (9-under) is just a shot back of Ha Na Jang at the LPGA Tour’s Founders Cup in Phoenix. Darkness limited play on Friday. Second-round action resumes Saturday with Jang 7-under on her round through 11 holes. Jyu Joo Kim is 10-under and still finishing up her second round. Karrie Webb and Lydia Ko are T-8 at 7-under at the moment.
- Five of the Top 10 players in the Official World Golf Ranking have not won a major title including Stenson, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Sergio Garcia and Dustin Johnson.
- Three are tied at 4-under in the lead at the European Tour’s Madeira Islands Open. Weather has shortened the event to a 54-hole affair.