The four-time PGA Tour winner posted a second consecutive 70 at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge Friday to be 4-under-par and five off the pace being set by Keegan Bradley and England’s Tommy Fleetwood.
Baddeley is teeing up for the first time since finishing runner-up at the Puerto Rico Open two weeks ago and has continued that form in Florida.
With three birdies against a lone bogey on day two the Victorian joined a logjam of nine other players sharing ninth with 36 holes remaining.
Marc Leishman, the only other Australian in the field after the withdrawal of Jason Day yesterday, also carded a 70 to be 2-under total and sharing 3rd.
After salvaging an even par round Thursday which began with four dropped shots on the opening nine Leishman is now mid-field and not out of the reckoning on a course that is giving up more bogeys than birdies.
At the top of the leaderboard Fleetwood was out in the early groups and made the most of good conditions with an impressive 66 that included two eagles.
He made three at the famed par-5 6ththen repeated the dose at the 12thin a round that included four other birdies and two bogeys.
After the round he pointed to the par-5’s as key to his position atop the leaderboard.
“Funnily enough when I came off the course yesterday and I was I in the truck with my trainer warming down for the day he asked me how my play was,” he said.
“And I told him I could have played the par-5’s better. I was even par on those hols yesterday.
“Today I made a much better job of those and you have to on tough courses. If you can score on the par-5’s you have to to shoot a good score and that’s basically where I made all my numbers up today.”
Fleetwood was joined late in the day by Keegan Bradley who added a 4-under 68 to his opening 67, the pair four ahead of the next best on the leaderboard.
Six players share third place at 5-under, among them last week’s winner Keith Mitchell and reigning Open Champion Francesco Molinari.
Overnight leader Rafa Cabrera-Bello struggled on day two and with a 3-over 75 dropped eight places on the standings to be alongside Baddeley in the group at 4-under and T9.
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