Rory McIlroy put his nightmare opening round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational behind him with an impressive 67 Friday at Bay Hill, but his 5-under score was nowhere near enough to keep 36-hole leader Jason Day in sight.
On Thursday, McIlroy suffered a case of the the "lefts" that began on the first hole when his foul ball off the tee flew out of bounds. A 75 ensued, but the world No. 2 served notice on Friday that his game was back on track, with an opening 16-foot putt for birdie on No. 10.
McIlroy went on to pull himself out of the quagmire and two strokes north of the early projected cut line of even-par, which was all well and good. But Day, on the other side of the course, threatened to run away with the tournament by sticking them close from all over -- like this 91-yard approach to within a foot on the par-4 third hole -- on his way to a 65:
The drive:— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 18, 2016
Jason Day is on his game at Bay Hill. https://t.co/Ug95QFmCmo
An excellent round of 7-under for the third-ranked golfer in the world, who got to a field-leading 13-under after 36 holes. Day's been relatively quiet through this first quarter of the year, not playing as much as his "Big Three" colleagues McIlroy and Jordan Spieth. With the Masters less than three weeks away, he seems to be cresting into that dominant form and his scheduling looks genius right about now.
Jason Day blitzed Bay Hill on Friday for a 7-under 65.— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 18, 2016
He's 13-under after two rounds. https://t.co/XBP7i2OexJ
But before anyone hands the reigning PGA champ the trophy, don’t forget who’s in the afternoon wave -- the hottest player in the world, his Aussie mate, Adam Scott.