ORLANDO, Fla., March 26 (UPI) — Davis Love III, despite faltering late in his round, grabbed a share of the lead Friday midway through the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Fla.
Phil Mickelson moved into serious contention for the first time this year and Sam Sanuders, grandson of the tournament’s namesake, survived the 36-hole cut.
Love, seeking his first title in two years, birdied six of his first eight holes Friday and took the lead at 10-under par. He then struggled during his back nine at the Bay Hill course and settled for a 1-under 71 that gave him a two-day total of 7-under 137.
He shared first place with D.J. Trahan, former British Open champion Ben Curtis and Ernie Els, who ended his own two-year drought two weeks ago with a victory at the WGC-CA Championship.
Curtis, who has won just twice since capturing the 2003 British Open, shot a 67. Trahan fired a 68 and Els had a 69.
Mickelson turned in a typically up-and-down round that included two shots in the water and an eagle at the par-4 eighth. He needed just 23 putts to shoot a 67 and stood at 138, tied for fifth with Kevin Na and two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen.
Mickelson’s best finish in five events this year has been a tie for eighth at Pebble Beach.
Those at 140, tied for eighth, included Mike Weir, K.J. Choi and Steve Stricker.
Saunders played the first 36 holes in 1-under 143. It took a score of 145 to make the halfway cut. Among those missing the cut were Kenny Perry, Zach Johnson, David Toms, David Duval and Camilo Villegas.
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