Stenson takes 1-shot lead at Bay Hill

Mar 19, 2018, 00:50
Stenson takes 1-shot lead at Bay Hill

A final-hole double-bogey saw one-time leader Rickie Fowler slip four off the pace, with eight-time Bay Hill victor Tiger Woods five strokes back in a share of 10th spot after a third-round 69.

Rory McIlroy made eagle on No. 12 and birdied two of his last three holes and was two shots behind.

"I could have a two- or three-shot lead, which would have been a nice cushion, but I've been in the mix a few times and I'm back here trying to give it a go", Stenson said.

Following a tie for second at last week's Valspar Championship, four-time Masters victor Woods has ascended to outright betting favourite for Augusta National.

It was the Northern Irishman's best US PGA round since the first round last August at Akron and he stood third on 206 a week after missing the cut.

"I'm gonna have to shoot a low one tomorrow, and probably get a little bit of help", said Woods. But Rose said he is playing better this week.

Not with Rory McIlroy alone in third at 10 under and Justin Rose tied for fourth with Ryan Moore at 9 under. Teeing off at the same time on Tee #1 are Rickie Fowler (-8) and Taylor Gooch (-8).

Woods shared 10th place on the course where he has captured eight career titles. ". Maybe I've been getting bogged down a little bit too much in mechanics, trying to hit ideal putts instead of - you know, the hole is quite wide, you don't have to hit flawless putts for it to go in".

"I've got a chance - I'm five back". "But my responsibility is to shoot a low one". That stems from his runner-up finish last week at Innisbrook, where he was never more than three shots behind in the final round and had a long birdie putt at the end to force a playoff. "When I made a couple birdies around 12 and 13 I was really playing myself into the tournament for tomorrow".

Part of that feeling came from three putts he narrowly missed - two for birdie, one for eagle - that could have given him some separation going into the final round at Bay Hill.

Notes: Tiger Woods is playing the tournament for the first time since 2013, when he won at Bay Hill for the eighth time.

What's next on Tiger Woods' PGA Tour schedule?

Luck held top Australian honours at the start of the day but trod water on the front nine with a birdie and a bogey before giving back two shots on the run to the clubhouse to slip to 3-under overall and a share of 35th.

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