Sunday, March 18, 2018

Stenson leads Arnold Palmer Invitational by one shot

2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard
(The 19th of 44 events in the US PGA TOUR Season)

Orlando, Florida                                 Purse: $8,900,000
Bay Hill Club and Lodge                     Par/Yards: 36-36—72/7,419

Third-Round Notes – Saturday, March 17, 2018

Sunny and warm with a high of 83. Wind SW 5-12 mph.

Third-Round Leaderboard
Henrik Stenson              64-69-71— 204 (-12)
Bryson DeChambeau   67-66-72— 205 (-11)
Rory McIlroy                 69-70-67— 206 (-10)
Justin Rose                    69-71-67— 207 (-9)
Ryan Moore                  71-67-69— 207 (-9)



Asian Players’ Scores
Byeong Hun An                      68-68-72 – 208 (-8)
Hideki Matsuyama               70-72-71 – 213 (-3)
Sung Kang                              78-66-69 – 214 (-2)
C.T. Pan                                  74-71-71 – 216 (E)
Haotong Li                             73-70-74 - 217 (+1)
Anirban Lahiri                       73-72-74 – 219 (+3)
215 Martin Laird 72 70 73 (T51)
222 Russell Knox 74 71 76 (76th)

Henrik Stenson
Henrik Stenson, who began his third round tied for the lead with Bryson DeChambeau, followed up an opening-round 8-under 64 (his low round in 10 starts at Bay Hill) and a second-round, bogey-free 3-under 69 with a 1-under 71 in round three to take the solo 54-hole lead. He will enter the final round with a one-stroke lead over DeChambeau.

Stenson, who lives in Orlando, went 29 holes without a bogey before recording a bogey-5 on the par-4 8th. He has four bogeys on his scorecard this week, with three coming in the third round.

Stenson is making his third official start of the 2017-18 season. He missed the cut at the Valspar Championship last week (74-74) in his first start of the calendar year and finished T2 at the WGC-HSBC Champions in the fall.

Should Stenson win on Sunday, he would become the fifth winner in his 40s this season (Pat Perez, Ryan Armour, Phil Mickelson, Paul Casey) at the age of 41 years, 11 months, 13 days. It would also mark the first time since 2004 that there were three or more consecutive winners in their 40s:

Byeonghun An
South Korea’s Byeonghun An birdied two of his last seven holes for an even par 72 to finish the third round in a share of sixth place, four shots behind leader Henrik Stenson, on 8-under 208. The 26-year-old, who was three strokes off the lead at the halfway stage, started his day with a birdie on the sixth hole when he converted a putt from four feet but dropped three consecutive shots around the turn with three-putt bogeys on the eighth, ninth and 10th holes. He fought back with birdies on 12 and 16, both par fives, from seven and five feet respectively.

Bryson DeChambeau
Bryson DeChambeau followed his 66 and 67 in rounds one and two with an even-par 72 on Saturday, offsetting three bogeys with three birdies and hitting 15 of 18 greens.  

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods, who entered the weekend T17 after rounds of 68-72, posted a 3-under 69 in round three and is T10, five strokes back of leader Henrik Stenson.

Woods owns eight victories at this event in 17 previous starts. He either led or co-led through 54 holes en route to seven of his eight wins. His only come-from-behind win was in 2009, when he entered the final round five strokes back of Sean O’Hair before posting a final-round 67 to win by one.

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy eagled the par-5 12th and then birdied two of his final three holes (Nos. 16 and 18) en route to a third-round, 5-under 67. McIlroy’s 67, where he was 6/7 in scrambling, is his lowest score on TOUR since the first round of the 2017 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

McIlroy has finished no worse than T27 (2016) in three previous starts at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He finished T4 last year at 9-under, two strokes back of Marc Leishman.

A week ago, McIlroy missed the cut at the Valspar Championship (74-73), one of two missed cuts in his previous four starts this season.

Justin Rose
Justin Rose, the highest-ranked player in the field, followed his second-round 71 with a 5-under 67 in the third round, three strokes back of fellow 2016 Olympic medalist Henrik Stenson.

Rose began the tournament 3-over through two holes after a triple bogey-7 on the par-4 11th on Thursday but now leads the field in total birdies with 19.

Rose is making his 13th start in the event, where he has four top-10s. In four starts on TOUR this season, Rose has a win (WGC-HSBC Champions) and two top-10s, including a T5 at last week’s Valspar Championship.

Additional Player Notes
Rickie Fowler, who is serving on the Arnold Palmer Invitational host committee, finished bogey-double-bogey to post a 2-under 70 in round three. Fowler has six previous starts at Bay Hill and his best finish a T3 in 2013. That year, he was paired with Tiger Woods in the final round.

Ryan Moore is three shots back of Henrik Stenson after rounds of 71-67-69. Playing in his ninth Arnold Palmer Invitational, Moore’s best finish is T4 in 2012. A five-time winner on TOUR, Moore is in search of his first win since the 2016 John Deere Classic. He has two top-10 finishes this season, most recently a T9 at the Genesis Open.

2016 champion Jason Day posted a 5-under 67 on Saturday and is T18. Day has recorded a win (Farmers Insurance Open) and a runner-up (AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am) in his last two TOUR starts and has finished no worse than T11 in his four starts this season.

Defending champion Marc Leishman (T35) followed up back-to-back 70s with a 1-over 73 in the third round. Leishman, who is coming off a career-best, sixth-place finish in the FedExCup standings, has three top-25 finishes in eight starts this season.



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