ORLANDO: World number one Rory McIlroy was in contention and gaining confidence Friday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, primed for a weekend run at second-round leader Morgan Hoffmann. Overnight leader Hoffmann remained red-hot, nabbing nine birdies in a seven-under par 65 at Bay Hill for a 36-hole total of 13-under 131. He had a three-shot lead over Sweden’s world number three Henrik Stenson, defending champion Matt Every and Harris English—who all carded six-under 66 for 134. Ben Martin was alone in fifth after a 67 for 135, while McIlroy headed a group of four players on eight-under 136. McIlroy was plenty pleased with his first round under 70 on the US tour this season.