Published: Sun, March 18, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

Tiger in the mix as Stenson leads Bay Hill

Tiger in the mix as Stenson leads Bay Hill

Rory McIlroy carded a third round five-under-par 67 to lie two shots off joint leaders Bryson DeChambeau and Henrik Stenson at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

On a warm and breezy Saturday afternoon, Woods kept himself within hailing distance of the lead heading into Sunday's final round with what is becoming a usual formula of uncanny scrambling interspersed with six birdies, including that 12-footer at the last.

As dusk fell at Bay Hill, Stenson held the advantage at 12 under par, with DeChambeau one behind, and McIlroy two behind. Justin Rose also had a 67 and was three shots behind.

Four-time major champion McIlroy, who needs only a Masters green jacket to complete a career Grand Slam, birdied two of the last three holes to fire 67.

Stenson, whose only victory since his lone Major title came previous year at Greensboro, began on the back nine and saved pars from seven feet at the par-five 16th and 15 feet at the par-three 17th after finding bunkers off the tee.

Woods, coming off a runner-up finish last week at Innisbrook, is an eight-time victor at Bay Hill, most recently in 2013 when he last played the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

"I've had a lot of chances to win and it has been disappointing not to get the win". "But I guess it didn't happen and we've just got to go out and play solid tomorrow to try and have a chance to win it".

Bryon DeChambeau also sputtered early and came on strong at the end with a 7-foot eagle putt on the 16th and an approach to 4 feet for birdie on the 18th for a 66.

It's a lofty goal but one that Woods is capable of reaching, especially given how he's back to dominating the par-5s again this week.

"I've been hitting a few really close this week and setting up some good opportunities from three or four feet".

"Unfortunately, just didn't go my way today", he said. I feel like over the last couple of months of 2017 into this year I sort of rediscovered my love for the game a little bit. This is the 25th anniversary of the last time Arnold Palmer made the cut on the PGA Tour. Rose made six birdies and one bogey to get into a tie for fourth with Ryan Moore at nine-under 207.

"I still feel like I'm coming back", he said.

"I had to flush it in order to get it there", Woods said.

"I started the day just outside the top 10 and wanted to at least give myself a chance going into tomorrow, so it was a great day out there", he said.

"It was more of a psychology lesson than anything else", McIlroy said of his meeting with Faxon.

The Arnold Palmer Group has partnered Fanatics, the global leader for licensed sports merchandise, and has doubled the size of its merchandise building and added three on-course tents. With his ball plugged near the side of the slip, he swung a little harder to make sure the shaft didn't get stuck banging into the side of the turf and holed a 20-foot par putt.

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