At 11 under, Hoffman and Kisner are three strokes clear of Tyrrell Hatton, Matt Fitzpatrick and Marc Leishman.
"It's been a little bit of a struggle which I didn't really anticipate coming in here", he said. Hoffman sits at 10-under through 36 holes, just ahead of Emiliano Grillo of Argentina. The 34-year-old, who admits that getting to meet Palmer after that success six years ago had been the highlight of his career, found himself lying alongside Rory McIlroy on one-over after the world No 3 followed his first-round 74 with a 71.
While he maintained his position atop the Arnold Palmer Invitational leaderboard, Charley Hoffman had to fight to get back.
"And I made a couple of good putts to birdie 16 and 17, which was great to keep the momentum going".
Hoffmann caught up with Kevin Kisner with three consecutive birdies on his final three holes for a 1-under-par 71 and a 54-hole total of 11-under 205.
McIlroy, a four-time major champion, opened on the back nine with back-to-back bogeys, sending his first tee shot way left and his second into a fairway bunker.
He would finish the hole with a quadruple bogey, sending him spiralling down the leaderboard and ruining what had been a consistent and impressive opening two rounds. This included a quadruple-bogey 9 and a club toss into the lake on Bay Hill's par-5 sixth hole.More news: Netanyahu: Syria raids targeted Hezbollah arms
Ketel One Vodka and Arnold Palmer go way back, as it was known that Ketel One on the rocks with a lemon twist was one of Palmer's signature drinks. "I got zero cardigans and hopefully add one", he said.
The four-time major victor wrapped up a sensational round of golf with two finishing birdies to take the clubhouse lead. Arnold Palmer passed away September 25th, 2016, and this week is all about remembering the legend. He shot a tournament record-tying 30 on the back nine.
For the players in contention, they know that even without Palmer waiting behind the 18 green to congratulate them on a well-played tournament, a win on Sunday will still be incredibly special.
On the LPGA Tour's Founders Cup, Sarah Jane Smith (21st) and Katherine Kirk (24th) are the leading Australians.
Lewis and Jutanugarn each shot 66 playing together for the third straight day.
Chalmers had a 69 and is five shots from the lead, while Cameron Smith is tied-15th, Aaron Baddeley tied-24th and Jason Day tied-39th.