Date: March 18, 2017
Author: Mark Hayes

Leish powers into Arnie mix

Six flawless birdies from Marc Leishman has the Victorian in contention at the midway point of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida.

Leishman hit 12 of 14 fairways and rolled in his share of long putts today in carding an equal day’s best 66 at Bay Hill to vault to a tie for fourth at seven under.

Leishman is in a share of fourth, just three behind leader Charley Hoffman (-10) who, along with Tommy Fleetwood (E), were the only other players to reach six under on day two.

Defending champ Jason Day nailed a spectacular approach inside 2m for a late eagle on the 16th to ensure he remained in the mix with a second-round 71 that left him at three under after an uncustomary battle.

Greg Chalmers backed up his opening 69 with an even-par 72 to be three under and sharing 13th with Day and five others.

Young Queenslander Cameron Smith rallied back into the tournament with a 69 to be among a big group tied for 26th at one under, including young Victorian Ryan Ruffels (74).

Aaron Baddeley dropped 38 places to be T46 after a 75 left him one over. Less fortunate was Perth amateur Curtis Luck, whose bad day on the course with an 82 was compounded by a disqualification for signing an incorrect scorecard.

With the 36-hole cut at three-over, Australians Rod Pampling (+5), Geoff Ogilvy (+11) and Steven Bowditch (+14) also failed to make the weekend.