Charley Hoffman leads the 2017 Arnold Palmer Invitational at 10-under par heading into the weekend, after shooting a six-under 66 in the second round at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Florida.
The stage is set for a competitive final 36 holes with 11 other golfers within six shots of the top spot on the leaderboard. Of the six South Africans, only Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel made the cut, with both on one-under-par 143, nine shots behind Hoffman.
In only his fourth appearance in the tournament over the last decade, Hoffman made seven birdies for a one-shot lead over Emiliano Grillo of Argentina.
Grillo made two eagles on his opening nine, holing a 35-yard bunker shot on the par-5 12th and chipping in from just off the green on the par-5 16th. He made birdies on the par 5s on the front nine that carried him to a 68.
Matt Fitzpatrick of England had four birdies on the back nine for a 69 and was two shots behind.
Sam Saunders, the 29-year-old grandson of Palmer, had three straight bogeys around the turn and never caught up. He wound up with another 74 and missed the cut by one shot in the first Arnold Palmer Invitational since the death of the beloved tournament host last September.
The cut was 3-over 147. Two players who missed the cut at least provided some entertainment.
British Open champion Henrik Stenson hit three balls out of the water, including two on one hole. His blast from the pond short of the 11th green barely made it out and rolled down the slope, only to be caught by a tuft of grass. His next chip rolled back down the slope and into the water, leading to a triple bogey. He also played out of the water on the 16th. Stenson shot 74.
Oosthuizen and Schwartzel are safely into the weekend on 143 and in a group tied for 28th. Oosthuizen added a 73 to his opening 70 and Schwartzel signed for a 71 after his first round 72.
Retief Goosen (75, 73) missed the cut as did Trevor Immelman, the former Masters champion who put together a disappointing 79 after his encouraging opening 70.
Branden Grace, with two 75s, also has a free weekend, along with Ernie Els, who compiled a 76 to tag on to his opening 75.