Bryson DeChambeau joins Henrik Stenson at 11-under-133
Bryson DeChambeau was T-4th and followed the leader Henrik Stenson with three-shot in the opening round at Bay Hill Club and Lodge hosting the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard. Bryson fired six-under-66 consisting an eagle on par-5 16th, six birdies, and two bogeys. taking his total to a matching 11-under-133 to Stenson’s.
DeChambeau sat even-par for first six holes after a bogey on third and birdie on fourth, he made his move on the seventh with three back to back birdies, putting 33 on his card before the turn. The momentum carried over to final nine, where he carded another three-under-33 that featured two birdies, a bogey, and an eagle, taking his birdie count to field-leading 14, over two rounds.
“I’ve been playing well. I think that rest last week kind of helped. My body wasn’t doing great and I was able to come out here pretty fresh and get the ball in the hole,” DeChambeau said.
DeChambeau withdrew from last week’s Valspar Championship with a sore back prior to it he has made seven out of eight cuts, including a T-7th at the Shriners and T-5th at the Waste Management last month.
“I think every week I’m good enough to win or play my best,” DeChambeau said. “It’s just sometimes a kick here, a break here and that’s just what happens, you don’t always get a sky ship rocketed up to the top of the leaderboard like I have and unfortunately that’s the way it goes sometimes, but this week it’s going the right way.”
Stenson played bogey-free in his second round with three consecutive birdies on fifth, sixth, and seventh holes, after leading the opening round with 8-under-64.
Stenson’s round consisted of fewer fireworks than his opening round, but he went bogey-free with three birdies to remain the co-leader. He started his round with 13 straight pars before firing three consecutive birdies at the fifth, sixth, and seventh holes.
“It was very cold this morning, even though I don’t think it was as cold as it was yesterday for the boys, so it took a little while to get going,” Stenson said. “I made a lot of solid pars at the beginning of the round, which was good. Then I had a stretch where I was struggling there on the end of my front nine which was 16, 17, 18. I made some great par putts and a bunker up-and-down, so that was really key today to keep the round going. I didn’t drop a shot, where I could have easily dropped three shots on those holes and drop down. So that was crucial.”
Tiger Woods goes down with par savings
After a stunning opening round, Tiger found difficulty keeping up with his second round after posting a bogey on his very first hole, par-4 1st. Tiger posted two birdies and two bogeys, both of which came on his front nine, putting him for a 72 on Friday and taking him 10 spots down for a T-17th at 4-under-140, seven strokes away from the joint leaders Stenson and DeChambeau.
Woods is joined by the defending champion Marc Leishman, Kevin Chappell, Bubba Watson, Justin Rose, Zach Johnson, and Grayson Murray.
Woods has already become the favorite at 8/1 to win at the 2018 Masters Tournament starting in just 16 days.
Woods playing partners Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama had mixed results in their respective rounds of 1-under-72 and level-par-72 for a T-53rd and T-39th position on the board.
Rory McIlroy, the man on whom the whole world has been speculating to win at the 2018 Masters currently stands at 16/1 odds, standing with Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose. McIlroy produced some entertaining round with five birdies and two bogeys for a 2-under-70 round to finish two spots up on Friday at T-11th with Ernie Els, J.B. Holmes, Bud Cauley, Sam Burns, and Curtis Luck.
Anirban Lahiri posted a level-par-72 round to get saved by a shot for the weekends, the Indian recently finished T-34 at the Hero Indian Open 2018, held at the DLF Golf & Country Club, Gurugram.
His opening round consisted of 73, he came back charged up for his second round posting four birdies and three bogeys, two of his birdies came back to back on fourth and fifth, before finishing his round strong with a 24-footer birdie on 17th and a bogey on 18th, but remained harmless of the cut line.
Lahiri is joined by C.T. Pan, Kevin Tway, Tommy Fleetwood (dropped 53 spots with 4-over-76), Austin Cook, Hudson Swafford, David Lingmerth, Peter Uihlein, Sung Kang, Kevin Streelman, John Huh, and Russell Knox.