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Arnold Palmer Invitational 2020: Hatton, Kang Tied for Lead After 2nd Round

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 6, 2020

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - MARCH 06: thwduring the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge on March 06, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Tyrrell Hutton and Sung Kang hold a share of the lead at seven under at the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational after Friday's second round.

Hutton and Kang have a one-stroke lead over Danny Lee, who sits alone in third place at six under. Harris English, Sungjae Im and Rory McIlroy are in a three-way tie at five under to round out the top five.

The pair of leaders have maintained steady play through the first two rounds. After opening with a 68 in Round 1, Hutton parlayed birdies on Nos. 16 and 17 into a three-under 69. Kang was likewise hot on the back nine, shooting 33, to finish at 68 on the day after shooting 69 in the opening round.

It was an opposite story for McIlroy, who opened the day one stroke off the lead after a strong 66 on Thursday. The world No. 1 sprayed drives off the tee and struggled with his putting, with the PGA estimating he lost 1.3 strokes on the short grass.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Struggles from the rough. @McIlroyRory chunked back-to-back shots on the par-4 8th and went on to double bogey the hole. He dropped to 3-under and three shots back of the lead. https://t.co/478BS0Mvsp

A 38 on the front nine, highlighted by an ugly double bogey on No. 8, left him scraping on the back nine to salvage the round. He shot a one-under 35 on the back nine but still went into the clubhouse with a 73. 

That said, McIlroy fared far better than Round 1 leader Matt Every. The two-time Arnold Palmer Invitational winner ended all hopes of winning the event for a third time Friday, carding one of the worst rounds of the day with an 11-over 83. 

Every took penalty strokes on Nos. 4, 10 and 11, which resulted in three of his four double bogeys on the round. He finished with four doubles, four bogeys and a lone birdie in one of the worst rounds of his professional life.

“Last week I sucked the whole week. Today was just kind of a gradual sucking all day. But it just, it sucked," Every said after the round, per Dave Shedloski of Golf Digest.

Every went from the lead to being in the lead to being cut, a true rarity in golf.

"It stinks for me because I really wanted to play well and I really didn't see this coming, to be honest," Every said. "But it happens. It just happens to me...it kind of happens to me quite a lot."

With The Players Championship coming in a week, many big names stayed home to prepare. Among those in the field aside from McIlroy, Patrick Reed (-4) is the only player in contention with a top-10 rank. Brooks Koepka (+1) is eight strokes off the lead, while Tommy Fleetwood (+8) missed the cut. 

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