Hatton had five birdies in round two as he looks for a first PGA Tour title Arnold Palmer Invitational second-round leaderboard-7 T Hatton (Eng), S Kang (Kor); -6 D Lee (NZ); -5 H English (US), S Im (Kor), R McIlroy (NI); -4 M Leishman (Aus), P Reed (USA), C Bezuidenhout (SA), S Burns (USA), B Todd (USA), T Hoge (USA) Selected others: -2 G McDowell (NI), D Willett (Eng), M Wallace (Eng); +1 B Koepka (USA); +2 I Poulter (Eng); +4 L Westwood (Eng); +5 R Knox (Sco), P Mickelson (US), A Scott (Aus); + 6 J Rose (Eng); +8 T Fleetwood (Eng); +9 P Harrington (Ire)
Englishman Tyrrell Hatton shares the lead in the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Bay Hill, with Rory McIlroy two strokes behind after the second round.
World Number 32 Hatton reached seven bottom-ups alongside Korean Sung Kang but said, "I felt that I had lost my swing and did not know where he was going."
McIlroy made four birdies in the tricky breeze but returned a one-over 73.
Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose, Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwood were among the misses in three.
Fleetwood failed to qualify after a second consecutive 76 left him eight and ended a point of 33 consecutive cuts on the PGA Tour.
Compatriot Hatton won the Turkish Open in November and returned after that wrist operation that month with a sixth place during the WGC-Mexico championship last month.
He started his second round at the 10th hole three shots off the lead and an outstanding six-iron to six feet on the 17th gave him one of five birdies in a three-under 69.
McIlroy has not finished outside the top 10 of a tournament since September, but after his sixth consecutive opening round of 68 or better he was below his sparkling best on day 2.
The world's number one just one shot from the lead & night, but took three shots from the right on the way to a double bogey on the eighth and needed a 20-foot birdie putt on par-three 17 to revive his lap .
"It was harder to find fairways in the crosswind, I made a few mistakes, but I fought back well to keep myself in the tournament," he said.
First-round leader Matt Every, a twice-former winner of the event, missed the cut after recording four double bogeys in an 83 to end in four.
World number 309 Every, who won in 2014 and 2015, made 18 shots more than his first daily total. The 36-year-old shot an 85 in missing the cut at the Honda Open last week.