ORLANDO, Florida, March 5: Anirban Lahiri ended a run of missed cuts by making the weekend rounds of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard. Lahiri, who shot 73 in the first round shot another 73 to be two-over for 36 holes and was placed T-51. A total of 78 professionals at 3-over 147 from a field made the cut.
Young Norwegian star Viktor Hovland took Route 66 to move to the top with 6-under 66 and he is now 9-under 135 for 36 holes and holds a two-shot lead over Tyrrell Hatton (69-68) at Bay Hill.
Lahiri had a terrible start as he followed four pars with a bogey-double bogey to go 3-over for the day and 4-over for the tournament. A birdie on eighth helped and another one on 10th brought him to 1-over for the day and 2-over for the day. Lahiri handled the rest of the eight holes carefully with eight pars in a row to ensure he would get to play on the weekend for the first time since the Farmers Insurance in late January. He missed cuts at Phoenix Open, Genesis and Honda Classic.
Hovland, playing in the morning wave, took advantage with seven birdies and some good par saves late in the second round.
With increasing wind in the afternoon scoring was not easy and Rory McIlroy found that out with 72 and slipped down. His putter let him down on greens and his misses included a 4-foot par putt and putts from 8 feet for birdie and par. He was two behind along with past Bay Hill winner Hatton (68) and Talor Gooch (68), who won his first PGA TOUR title in the final official event last year.
Last year Hovland was two shots out of the lead going into the weekend but closed with 77-78 to finish T-15.
Among those missing the cut at 3-over 147, was Patrick Reed who missed it by one shot. It was his third straight tournament missing the cut.