Kurt Kitayama takes 2-shot lead at windy Bay Hill as Jon Rahm falters

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ORLANDO, Fla. — Kurt KitayamaWith a top-class group behind him, he is aiming for his first PGA Tour victory at The Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Kitayama should only be used for that purpose.

He was 1 shot behind last year. Jon RahmMexico Xander SchauffeleScotland Rory McIlroySouth Carolina

Kitayama was able to handle the wind that made Bay Hill more difficult and posted a 4-under score of 68 for Fridays 2-shot lead. Jordan Spieth, a three time major champion and former No. , a three-time major champion and former No.

Kitayama stated, Right now I feel like Im just trying for that win. Its hard, especially when you consider the guys Ive beaten. To give myself a chance, I have to keep trying to put myself in that position.

Rahm finally looked human. In his final five holes, Rahm made a double bogey with three bogeys and one birdie. He finished 6 shots behind with a score of 76, which was his highest score since a 76 last May in the third round.

How would it be described? What do you think I will say? Excuse me for my language, but its [expletive]Rahm said, It is hard.

He smiled as he spoke and was happy to be done.

Its firm. Its fast. He said that it blows 30 miles an hour. Its a difficult course to play golf on.

Kitayama was at 9under 135, and Spieth is the immediate challenge, who tied for fourth at Bay Hill.

Spieth was able to reach the par 5s of the back nine in just two shots to set-up birdies. He also holed a long par shot on 15th and a long birdie on 17th. Finally, he got a big break with what he called his worst drive with a snap hook that seemed certain to go out-of bounds.

Instead, it settled at a base of a mesh fence. Spieths only move was to invert a wedge of sand and play it left-handed. This would have put his feet on the cart track, and he was entitled for a free drop.

Spieth stated, It was very fortunate. I should have made 6 or 7 holes, and I almost made a 4.

He missed the par putt, so he had to settle for a 69.

Cameron YoungHe was right there until four holes. He was one shot behind until a pair or bogeys, then a shot from thick rough into the water on 18th for a double-bogey and an 73. He was 5 behind.

Schauffele missed only one shot. His approach to the 11th was too short and into the water. He made an 18-foot putt in order to avoid the bogey and played the remaining 16 holes without a bogey. He shot 70, and was three behind the others. Corey Conners66 was the low round for the day for a player named.

Conners stated, Felt like an 62.

Justin ThomasHe managed eight birdies and a bogey bogey finish of 67. He was at 5-under 139, which included Patrick Cantlay(71) and U.S. Open champion Matt FitzpatrickHe birdied his last three holes for an impressive 69.

Kitayama continued to plod along even though the wind picked up. He was unbogey-free except for the par-5 16th. There, he lost his position on the tee.

He responded with a 100-foot bunker-shot to tap-in on the par-3 17, and with the wind at the back, hit gap wedge to ten feet for birdie.

Kitayama doesn’t have to compete in a PGA Tour tournament to be a good competitor. He is a regular player in Las Vegas with Schauffele, a two-time major champion. Collin Morikawa.

Kurt calls him Quadzilla or Quadfather . Schauffele stated that he has very large legs. Hes a good guy. Hes a very good player. Hes a tough guy and has a great head on his shoulders. Its not surprising to see him up there.

The 5-foot-7 Kitayama has plenty of power thanks to his legs. After a tap in birdie on the 11, he drove 361 yards on par-5 12, leaving only an 8 iron to the green, which set up another birdie.

McIlroy, however, managed to score under par for his first tournament. McIlroy made a 15-foot putt on the par-3 17th. He birdied the par 5,s on the front nine, and finished with a score of 69. This was 7 behind Kitayamas, but not too worried about it.

Kurts an excellent player, but you have to look at some of those on 6! [under]McIlroy stated that Xander was behind him. Its not the leading… but I feel like if Xander is caught, then Im going very close to winning the tournament.

Two players had Saturday morning to return to the second round. One was Greg KochHe was in the rough on the difficult par-4 9th. He would make the cut if he made birdie. This would leave him at 1-over 145. Koch would be considered a bogey if he misses the cut.

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