Stenson maintains PGA lead

Lloyd Doyle
March 18, 2018

Rory McIlroy (-10) and Justin Rose (-9) get going at 2:10 pm EST, while leader Henrik Stenson (-12) and Bryson DeChambeau (-11) are last off tee at 2:20 pm EST.

Having started the third round six behind Stenson, his Ryder Cup teammate, the Northern Irishman jumped up to third place at Bay Hill with an eagle, four birdies and just the solitary bogey.

Fowler immediately slipped back with a long-range three-putt bogey at the 13th, with Stenson edging back ahead with a close-range gain on the par-five 12th. "When I made a couple birdies around 12 and 13 I was really playing myself into the tournament for tomorrow". He added birdies on Nos. He also made a few mistakes that slowed his momentum and caught some tough lies in the bunkers, but still managed to have his ninth straight round at par or better.

"Worked on my swing a little bit, found a feeling, found something I could go with into this week and hopefully beyond", McIlroy, who tied for fourth at the event previous year, told NBC Sports. "I came into this week really positive". I don't know, I think it's gotten a little much, to be honest. "I knew if that could translate from practice onto the course, I could have a good week". A year later, Stenson was tied for the lead on the back nine until dropping two shots and tying for third.

Englishman Rose (67) and American Ryan Moore (69) were a stroke back on nine-under.

Woods, who is now favourite for the Masters next month, is bidding to win his first tournament on the PGA Tour since a seven-shot victory at the Bridgestone Invitational in August 2013.

Both players missed the 10th green on their way to bogey-fives, allowing Fowler to move into a three-way tie for the top by following a front-nine 34 with three birdies in a four-hole stretch. Woods made the turn in 1-under 35 after a bogey on No. 8.

"I felt like I left one or two out there coming in and I definitely could have wrapped up a two or three-shot lead for tomorrow which would have been a nice cushion, but it didn't happen", he said. "Maybe a low one tomorrow will give me a chance to kind of steal one from behind".

"I didn't really hit many putts [with Brad]", McIlroy said.

Well, what do you know? It's great to have him back.

In what could be his last competitive round before the Masters tees off on April 5, Tiger Woods heads into Round 4 of the Arnold Palmer Invitation looking for more consistentcy in his game.

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