On the LPGA Tour, Leona Maguire is inside the top-10 with two rounds to play

Rory McIlroy remained in contention to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational for the second time in four years with a 71 on Friday to sit two shots behind leader Corey Connors at Bay Hill.
McIlroy again showed his liking for the Orlando layout in moving into contention for another tilt at the title: the world number eight shot moved to seven-under for the tournament, as he set himself up for a weekend challenge.
McIlroys putting has shown significant improvement this week which sees him lead the field in strokes gained on the greens and he put it to use on the front nine by reeling off three birdies from the third to the sixth. However, they came after a bogey on the first and another would follow on the Par 4 eighth in a run of holes which could have seen the four-time Major winner fall back into the pack were it not for good par-saving putt on the seventh and ninth.
A birdie at the Par 5 12th moved McIlroy to within one of the lead but a bad tee shot on the 13th forced him to pitch out sideways, eventually leading to a bogey five before he had to settle for five consecutive pars to finish.
Today was a bit more of a battle but I stayed patient, McIlroy said. I picked off three of the par fives, which is good around here. When I put it in trouble I got it out of trouble. I hit a few better shots coming down the stretch, but just going to go and work on a couple things here on the range. It could have been the round that I could have shot 74 or 75, I got in with 71 and pretty happy with that.
Conners, whose sole PGA Tour title to date came in the Valero Texas Open in 2019, carded a 69 which featured an eagle on the par-five 16th for the second day running, leaving him at nine under par and one clear of Viktor Hovland while Martin Laird and Lanto Griffin sit alongside McIlroy at seven under.
Earlier on Friday, Jason Day had one of those days that dont come around too often: the Australian, a former world number one and US PGA champion, suffered a bizarre sequence of events, with back-to-back double-bogeys, but somehow managed to stay very much in contention.
Jason Day uses a pair of binoculars to find his ball stuck in a tree on the 16th hole during the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Photograph: EPA
Without a win dating back to his 2018 Wells Fargo Championship success, Day went in search of the wrong type of birdie.
On the 16th hole, his eighth having started on the 10th, he was required to get his hands on some binoculars in an attempt to identity his ball which had finished up in a nest up a tree.
I zoomed in on it and Ive got the ball, well I dont have the ball, but I could see the Tour BXS on the logo on the side, and Im like, thats it, perfect . . . . it was a little unfortunate that it got stuck up, it was literally in a nest. So I think the mama birdies going to come back and find another egg there, its unfortunate but it is what it is.
Day was required to take an unplayable lie and ultimately ran up a double-bogey six and then followed up with another double-bogey six on the 18th after his approached found a fried egg lie in a greenside bunker. To his credit, he responded with a homeward run that included three birdies as he signed for a 72 for 142, which left him seven shots adrift of Connors.
This is a very special place to me. I used to live here when I first came over here to America, I mean like only five minutes down the road, so to be able to be here, I know the last few years havent panned out the right way, but my bodys feeling tremendous and I feel good about where Im at, so I just got to keep pushing along, said Day.
While McIlroy kept himself right in the thick of it, the other three of the four-strong Irish contingent in the invitational field had contrasting fortunes in their efforts to survive the midway cut.
Pádraig Harrington, who suffered from stomach pains throughout last weeks Puerto Rico Open and was hospitalised for kidney stones earlier in the week, managed to make the cut after adding a second round 74 to his opening 70 for a 36-holes total of 144 to comfortably make it.
However, Graeme McDowells miserable start to the season continued when, despite a second round 70, he finished alongside Shane Lowry on five-over-par 149. It meant a third missed cut in four appearances so far in 2021 for McDowell, who has slipped outside the worlds top-100 in recent weeks.
On the LPGA Tour, Spains Carlota Ciganda eyeing another Solheim Cup appearance later this season showed her well-being with a brilliant second round 65 for a midway total of eight-under- par 136 to claim the midway clubhouse lead.
Leona Maguire continuing her good form on the back of a top-20 finish in last weeks Gainbridge Championship recorded a second round 71 for a midway total of four-under-par 140. Inside the top-10 heading into the weekend, Maguires round of three birdies and two bogeys enabled her to get into a strong challenging position going into the weekend. Stephanie Meadow, with rounds of 71 and 75 for 146, also made the cut.
135 Corey Conners (Can) 66 69
136 Martin Laird (Sco) 69 67
137 Lanto Griffin 69 68, Viktor Hovland (Nor) 69 68, Rory McIlroy (NIrl) 66 71
138 Bryson DeChambeau 67 71
139 Paul Casey (Eng) 70 69, Sung Jae Im (Kor) 69 70, Justin Rose (Eng) 71 68, Jordan Spieth 70 69
140 Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 70 70, Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng) 69 71, Tommy Fleetwood (Eng) 70 70, Max Homa 70 70, Jazz Janewattananond (Tha) 75 65, Richy Werenski 71 69, Lee Westwood (Eng) 69 71
141 Chris Kirk 71 70, Jason Kokrak 68 73, Will Zalatoris 73 68
142 Byeong-Hun An (Kor) 68 74, Jason Day (Aus) 70 72, Robert MacIntyre (Sco) 71 71, Kevin Na 71 71, Andrew Putnam 70 72
143 Keegan Bradley 69 74, Harris English 73 70, Charley Hoffman 71 72, Luke List 71 72, Maverick McNealy 71 72, Alexander Noren (Swe) 72 71, Victor Perez (Fra) 69 74, Ian Poulter (Eng) 70 73, Brendan Steele 71 72, Steve Stricker 72 71, Matt Wallace (Eng) 70 73, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 72 71
144 Jason Dufner 74 70, Tyler Duncan 72 72, Doug Ghim 71 73, Will Gordon 72 72, Pádraig Harrington (Irl) 70 74, Tyrrell Hatton (Eng) 77 67, Bo Hoag 74 70, Zach Johnson 74 70, Danny Lee (Nzl) 73 71, Keith Mitchell 73 71, Sebastian Munoz (Col) 68 76, Chez Reavie 74 70, Brendon Todd 74 70, Harold Varner III 72 72, Danny Willett (Eng) 73 71
145 Emiliano Grillo (Arg) 71 74, Mark Hubbard 71 74, John Huh 74 71, Kevin Kisner 73 72, Patton Kizzire 76 69, Russell Knox (Sco) 74 71, Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) 75 70, Denny McCarthy 72 73, Patrick Rodgers 73 72, Cameron Tringale 70 75, Kristoffer Ventura (Nor) 75 70, Branden Grace (Rsa) 74 71
146 Rickie Fowler 76 70, Lucas Glover 72 74, Talor Gooch 73 73, Charles Howell III 74 72, Henrik Norlander (Swe) 71 75, Doc Redman 73 73, Brandt Snedeker 75 71, Erik van Rooyen (Rsa) 72 74, Pat Perez 75 71
The following players missed the cut:
147 Tom Hoge 74 73, Patrick Reed 73 74
148 Cameron Davis (Aus) 76 72, Matt Jones (Aus) 76 72, Peter Malnati 70 78, Matthew NeSmith 72 76, Chengtsung Pan (Tai) 74 74, Cameron Percy (Aus) 72 76, Rory Sabbatini (Svk) 70 78, Henrik Stenson (Swe) 73 75, Robert Streb 78 70, Hudson Swafford 78 70, Nick Taylor (Can) 73 75
149 Sam Burns 77 72, Dylan Frittelli (Rsa) 79 70, Jim Herman 75 74, Billy Horschel 74 75, Sung-Hoon Kang (Kor) 72 77, Kyoung-Hoon Lee (Kor) 71 78, Marc Leishman (Aus) 74 75, Shane Lowry (Irl) 75 74, Graeme McDowell (NIrl) 79 70, Aaron Wise 75 74
150 Wyndham Clark 74 76, Joel Dahmen 74 76, Paul Goydos 73 77, Anirban Lahiri (Ind) 72 78, J. T. Poston 76 74, Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 76 74
151 Cameron Champ 77 74, Adam Hadwin (Can) 79 72, Adam Long 70 81, Sepp Straka (Aut) 73 78, Brian Stuard 74 77, Camilo Villegas (Col) 81 70
152 Austin Cook 75 77,Matthew Every 76 76, Brian Gay 78 74, Tim Herron 73 79, Kramer Hickok 76 76, Francesco Molinari (Ita) 78 74, Matthias Schmid (Ger) 76 76, Kyle Stanley 76 76
153 John Augenstein 83 70
154 Tyler McCumber 79 75, Rod Perry 78 76
156 Robby Shelton 76 80
163 Kamaiu Johnson 84 79
134 Jennifer Kupcho 67 67, Austin Ernst 67 67
136 Carlota Ciganda (Spa) 71 65
137 Nelly Korda 67 70
139 Jennifer Coleman 70 69
140 Yu Liu (Chn) 70 70, Jaye Marie Green 68 72, Ashleigh Buhai (Rsa) 70 70, Paphangkorn Tavatanakit (Tha) 70 70, Leona Maguire (Irl) 69 71
141 Mi-Jung Hur (Kor) 69 72, Megan Khang 69 72, Gaby Lopez (Mex) 69 72, Lydia Ko (Nzl) 69 72, Katherine Kirk (Aus) 69 72, Cheyenne Knight 71 70
142 Sei-Young Kim (Kor) 72 70, Danielle Kang 72 70, Jing Yan (Chn) 68 74, Xiyu Lin (Chn) 72 70, Ryann OToole 71 71, Jennifer Song 70 72, Lindy Duncan 69 73
143 Brooke Henderson (Can) 74 69, Alexis Thompson 74 69, Brittany Altomare 70 73, Bronte Law (Eng) 70 73, Annie Park 71 72, In-Gee Chun (Kor) 70 73, Cristie Kerr 74 69, Mariah Stackhouse 69 74, Albane Valenzuela (Swi) 70 73
144 Laura Davies (Eng) 75 69, Charley Hull (Eng) 74 70, Jessica Korda 69 75, Ally Ewing 71 73, Nanna Koerstz Madsen (Den) 73 71, Anna Nordqvist (Swe) 74 70, Stacy Lewis 71 73, Melissa Reid (Eng) 70 74, Tiffany Joh 73 71, Sophia Popov (Ger) 74 70, Sarah Kemp (Aus) 72 72, Jennifer Chang 73 71
145 Eun-Hee Ji (Kor) 75 70, Angel Yin 71 74, Caroline Masson (Ger) 70 75, Kristen Gillman 75 70, Sarah Schmelzel 71 74, Hee-Young Park (Kor) 73 72, Perrine Delacour (Fra) 71 74, Aditi Ashok (Ind) 72 73, Hae-Ji Kang (Kor) 73 72, Jaclyn Lee (Can) 74 71, Dana Finkelstein 75 70, Elizabeth Szokol 72 73, Mina Harigae 74 71
146 Jeon-Geun Lee (Kor) 69 77, Sung-Hyun Park (Kor) 73 73, Jenny Shin (Kor) 74 72, Nicole Broch Larsen (Den) 72 74, Georgia Hall (Eng) 74 72, Cydney Clanton 74 72, Jane Park 70 76, Daniela Holmqvist (Swe) 70 76, Daniela Darquea (Ecu) 72 74, Stephanie Meadow (NIrl) 71 75, Yealimi Noh 74 72, Lindsey Weaver 72 74, Wichanee Meechai (Tha) 73 73, Haley Moore 75 71
The following players missed the cut:
147 Jin-Young Ko (Kor) 75 72, Celine Boutier (Fra) 73 74, Mi-Hyang Lee (Kor) 75 72, Sandra Gal (Ger) 76 71, Harukyo Nomura (Jpn) 75 72, Angela Stanford 75 72, Ji-Won Jeon (Kor) 73 74, Laura Restrepo (Pan) 76 71, Sarah Burnham 73 74
148 Lizette Salas 75 73, Azahara Munoz (Spa) 73 75, Marina Alex 74 74, Alena Sharp (Can) 75 73, Madelene Sagstroem (Swe) 71 77, Ssu-Chia Cheng (Tai) 72 76, Anne van Dam (Ned) 72 76, Lauren Stephenson 74 74
149 Brittany Lincicome 76 73, Thidapa Suwannapura (Tha) 74 75, Wei Ling Hsu (Tai) 73 76, Pornanong Phatlum (Tha) 75 74, Pajaree Anannarukarn (Tha) 74 75, Maria Torres (Pur) 74 75, Caroline Inglis 75 74, Robynn Ree 74 75, Kanphanitnan Muangkhumsakul (Tha) 72 77
150 Amy Yang (Kor) 76 74, Nasa Hataoka (Jpn) 75 75, Gerina Piller 77 73, Linnea Stroem (Swe) 79 71, Giulia Molinaro (Ita) 81 69, Esther Henseleit (Ger) 74 76
151 Suzuka Yamaguchi (Jpn) 76 75
152 Jillian Hollis 76 76, Esther Lee 76 76, Elizabeth Nagel 73 79
153 Chella Choi (Kor) 76 77, Brittany Lang 74 79
154 Caroline Hedwall (Swe) 79 75, Tiffany Chan (Hkg) 71 83, Maria Fassi (Mex) 76 78
155 Sarah Jane Smith (Aus) 77 78, Pernilla Lindberg (Swe) 78 77, Jackie Barenborg Stoelting 78 77
156 Marissa Steen 76 80, Muni He (Chn) 82 74, Emma Talley 76 80
157 Alana Uriell 79 78
158 Katherine Perry 79 79