Matthew Fitzpatrick leads Bay Hill, Rory McIlroy lurks
Matthew Fitzpatrick carded a five-under-par 67 to claim a one-shot lead after the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Resort and Club.
Defending champion Rory McIlroy notched a third round 66 to trail the leader by one shot, while Aaron Baddeley (69), Kevin Kisner (70), and Matt Wallace (70) are another stroke further behind in a tie for third.
Fitzpatrick’s round included five birdies and no bogeys as the Englishman reached a score of nine-under-par after 54 holes.
“I just played really solid,” Fitzpatrick told the press after his round.
“I like the golf course a lot, so I do feel comfortable out there.
“The plan was to hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens and do as best you can and it sort of paid off today. And I holed a few more putts, which is great.”
Rory’s deft touch.
Fitzpatrick heats up.
Baddeley’s brilliant bunker play.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 10, 2019
A five-time winner on the European Tour, world number 44 Fitzpatrick has never won on the PGA Tour, having last tasted victory at the 2017 Omega European Masters.
“Obviously it’s a little bit of a stronger field than normal, but it’s just another golf tournament, really,” Fitzpatrick continued.
“That’s the attitude you got to try to go into it with. There’s water around here, the greens are firm, the rough’s thick. Someone was saying it’s a bit like a U.S. Open, which I could totally see.”
McIlroy started the day on two-under, seven shots off the overnight leaders Tommy Fleetwood and Keegan Bradley, but played himself into contention with a blistering round which included seven birdies and a solitary bogey.
“The golf course has played much tougher this year compared to the previous years,” McIlroy noted.
“Overall I played a really good round of golf, exactly what I needed to do, and I’m excited to be in the hunt for tomorrow.”
Fleetwood (76) and Bradley (75) had a four-stroke lead at the half-way point but fell back badly after disappointing third rounds.
New Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald motivated by ‘bitter’ memories of 2021 defeat
Stenson was stripped of the role for breaking his contract by joining the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series.
The task facing Luke Donald after replacing Henrik Stenson
Stenson was appointed on March 15 and said he was fully committed to a role before signing with the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series.
Tony Finau claims second straight PGA Tour victory
The American won the 3M Open in his previous outing.
Henrik Stenson cushions Ryder Cup blow with £3.6m debut win in LIV Golf
The Swede was stripped of his role as Europe captain after joining the Saudi-backed breakaway tour.
Former Masters champion Bubba Watson becomes latest player to join LIV Golf
The left-hander is currently sidelined by a knee injury and is not expected to play until next season,
Luke Donald tipped to replace Henrik Stenson as Europe’s Ryder Cup captain
The Swede lost the job 127 days after his appointment following his decision to join the LIV Golf series.
Max Homa: Tiger Woods now understands the respect he commands from his peers
Homa has made no secret of his admiration for Woods.
Bernard Gallacher fears Greg Norman is not the man for compromise with LIV Golf
Players who have resigned from the PGA Tour to join LIV Golf will not be eligible for next year’s Ryder Cup.
Brooke Henderson takes two-shot lead into final round of Evian Championship
South Korea’s Ryu So-yeon climbed into outright second place on 15 under.