Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri stumbled on the back nine and ended six-over 78 in the second round to make an early exit from the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando.
Lahiri, who shot a par 72 in the first round, will miss weekend action at Bay Hill for the third time in five starts.
Lahiri, one-over for the first nine, double-bogeyed the 11th and 17th, and bogeyed the 16th. He had just one birdie in four par-fives and totalled even for the other four.
Meanwhile, Corey Conners ground out pars in the warm weather and surged into the lead with a 25-foot eagle putt on the par-five 16th — his second eagle on that hole in two days.
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His 69 gave him a one-shot advantage over former winner Martin Laird (67). Conners was nine-under 135.
Rory McIlroy looked like joining Conners till he hit a couple of loose drives and ended with 71, but was glad he got away lightly with his mistakes.
McIlroy was two shots behind, along with Viktor Hovland and Lanto Griffin, who each had a 68 on Saturday.
Jordan Spieth (69) remained in the mix going into the weekend, which is becoming regular for him as he tries for his first win in three years.
Of the Ryder Cup captains, Padraig Harrington of Ireland carded a 74 to be nine shots behind, while Steve Stricker with a 71 was one shot better.
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For the third consecutive year, Korean standout Sungjae Im will enter the weekend rounds at the Arnold Palmer Invitational inside the top 10. He finished in the top three in his first two appearances at Bay Hill Club & Lodge and hopes to be third time lucky by winning the prestigious PGA Tour tournament.
Im, ranked 17th in the world, posted a second-round two-under 70 on Friday and sits at five-under 139 in tied-seventh place through 36 holes. He trails leader Conners by four.
Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond fired the day’s low score with a superb 65, which was a 10-shot improvement from his opening round.
The former Asian No. 1 took advantage of his knowledge of the course — he is a Bay Hill member after staying with two-time PGA Tour winner Daniel Chopra for nearly four months during the COVID-19 pandemic last year. He enters the third round in tied-11th place, five off the lead.