Kitayama leads Arnold Palmer as Rahm flounders

Kurt Kitayama shot a four-under 68 in the second round to take a two-way lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational after overnight leader Jon Rahm slipped down the leaderboard.

World No. 1 Rahm had a two-shot advantage after the first round and shot a 4-par 76 in tough conditions that saw winds of up to 30 mph.

Kitayama had five birdies to grab the lead by two shots from Jordan Spieth.

“It’s always a fun challenge keeping yourself in the moment,” he said.

“I feel like when you get conditions like this it’s easy to kind of let things get away from you – for me it’s just keeping myself focused the entire way.”

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The event also saw a hole-in-one by Norway’s Viktor Hovland, who hit a 183-yard shot on the seventh hole, finishing at two under.

Chris Kirk – who won the Honda Classic last week – was also a victim of the weather, trailing the field to two under after being tied for second overnight.

England’s Matt Fitzpatrick is the best British favourite, sitting at five under, with Aaron Rai and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy three strokes behind.

The players are vying for a $20m (£17m) purse, with $3.6m going to the winner.

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