Fitzpatrick two off the lead, with McIlroy also in the mix at Bay Hill
England's Matt Fitzpatrick remained firmly in contention to add a first PGA Tour title to his impressive CV, on day two of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Fitzpatrick shared the overnight lead at Bay Hill and added a second round of 69 to his opening 67 to reach halfway at eight under par, two behind clubhouse leader Charley Hoffman.
Paul Casey was four shots further back after a 72, with world number three Rory McIlroy on course to make the halfway cut after adding a 71 to his opening 74 and fellow Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell one under par after also shooting 71.
Making just his third start of 2017 due to a rib injury, McIlroy bogeyed his first two holes after wild tee shots on the 10th and 11th, but bounced back with birdie on the 12th and eagle on the 16th.
The four-time major winner was unhappy with his approach to the par five after a 326-yard drive, but holed from 30 feet to go under par for the day.
However, the 27-year-old promptly found water with his tee shot on the 17th to give both shots back, before completing an eventful nine holes with a birdie on the 18th.