Arnold Palmer Invitational - R3

Fitzpatrick leading McIlroy by 1 shot

March 07-10
Bay Hill Club and Lodge, Bay Hill, Florida
$9,100,000

Round 1, Round 2, Round 4


England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick fired a bogey-free five-under par 67 Saturday to seize a one-stroke lead over defending champion Rory McIlroy after the third round of the US PGA Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Fitzpatrick, a 24-year-old seeking his first US PGA title after five European Tour triumphs, stood on nine-under 207 for 54 holes at Bay Hill in Orlando, Florida.


Four-time major winner McIlroy, who would complete the career Grand Slam by winning next month’s Masters, fired a 67 to join pal Fitzpatrick in Sunday’s final pairing.

“It’ll be a fun day,” Fitzpatrick said. “I’ve become good friends with him. He has got a ton of fans over here. It’s exciting. I’ve put myself in a good position. I’m looking forward to it.”

Australia’s Aaron Baddeley, England’s Matt Wallace and American Kevin Kisner shared third on 209 but McIlroy, who began the day seven adrift, said plenty of rivals are within reach of the title.

“It’s so bunched,” McIlroy said. “I’d still say the 2- and 3-unders still have a chance to win the tournament.”

World number 44 Fitzpatrick, never better than a share of seventh in a US PGA event, opened with a nine-foot birdie, added a three-footer to birdie the par-5 fourth, began the back nine with a 10-foot birdie putt and added two more at the par-4 15th from 13 feet plus a tap-in at the par-5 16th.

“Just played really smart,” said Fitzpatrick. “I’ve been driving it pretty solid all week. Did the same today. Hit a lot of greens. You’ve got to play smart and stick to your shots and hit the greens. It’s getting harder out there.”

Northern Ireland’s McIlroy birdied four of the first six holes and three of the last our holes while taking his lone bogey at the par-4 eighth.

“I’ve just been trying to play high cuts into every single pin I can look at. It’s the only way I feel like I can stop the ball near the pin,” McIlroy said.

“I knew the key for me today was to hit fairways. The greens are so pure. Whenever you start them on line they have a good chance.”

Sixth-ranked McIlroy put his approach to five feet and made birdie at the par-3 second then sank an 11-foot birdie putt at the par-4 third.

After a three-putt par at the par-5 fifth, McIlroy sank a 26-foot birdie putt at the fifth and then blasted from a greenside bunker inches from the cup on the way to a birdie at the par-5 sixth.

He escaped nine with a par after “probably the worst mud ball I’ve ever had… it was good to get away with a four there.”

McIlroy’s ferocious finish saw him sink short tap-in birdies at 15 and the par-5 16th then sink a nine-foot par putt at the par-3 17th and drop a birdie putt from the same distance at 18.

“It was nice for that one to go in to cap off a really good round,” McIlroy said.


McIlroy has not won since taking last year’s crown at Bay Hill, his 14th career PGA victory.

“This golf course has played much tougher from the beginning compared to previous years,” McIlroy said. “The course is going to get tougher as it goes along.

“The greens are getting so firm and so fast out there, anything above the hole you’re going to have trouble getting it to stop.”

McIlroy won major titles at the 2011 US Open, the 2012 and 2014 PGA Championship and the 2014 British Open.

Second-round co-leaders Keegan Bradley of the United States and Tommy Fleetwood of England faded, Bradley firing 75 to finish three back and Fleetwood shooting 76 to stand four adrift.


Pos.
Player
Nat
To Par
R1
R2
R3
Total
1
Matthew Fitzpatrick
ENG
-9
70
70
67
207
2
Rory McIlroy
NIR
-8
72
70
66
208
T3
Aaron Baddeley
AUS
-7
70
70
69
209
T3
Matt Wallace
ENG
-7
71
69
69
209
T3
Kevin Kisner
USA
-7
70
69
70
209
T6
Chris Kirk
USA
-6
71
73
66
210
T6
Luke List
USA
-6
70
72
68
210
T6
Charles Howell III
USA
-6
74
67
69
210
T6
Rafael Cabrera Bello
ESP
-6
65
75
70
210
T6
Keegan Bradley
USA
-6
67
68
75
210
T11
Tyrrell Hatton
ENG
-5
70
75
66
211
T11
Jason Kokrak
USA
-5
70
73
68
211
T11
Martin Kaymer
GER
-5
72
69
70
211
T11
Bubba Watson
USA
-5
68
72
71
211
T11
Sung-Jae Im
KOR
-5
71
69
71
211
T11
Tommy Fleetwood
ENG
-5
69
66
76
211
T17
Graeme McDowell
NIR
-4
68
75
69
212
T17
Henrik Stenson
SWE
-4
77
66
69
212
T17
Lucas Glover
USA
-4
70
71
71
212
T17
Sung-Hoon Kang
KOR
-4
69
72
71
212
T17
Francesco Molinari
ITA
-4
69
70
73
212
T17
Billy Horschel
USA
-4
68
71
73
212
T23
Adam Hadwin
CAN
-3
70
75
68
213
T23
Byeong-Hun An
KOR
-3
72
72
69
213
T23
Carlos Ortiz
MEX
-3
72
71
70
213
T23
Hideki Matsuyama
JPN
-3
72
70
71
213
T23
Chesson Hadley
USA
-3
71
71
71
213
T23
Kevin Streelman
USA
-3
70
72
71
213
T23
Brendan Steele
USA
-3
70
71
72
213
T23
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
THA
-3
71
70
72
213
T23
Roger Sloan
CAN
-3
70
69
74
213
T32
Adam Long
USA
-2
74
71
69
214
T32
Scott Piercy
USA
-2
74
70
70
214
T32
Adam Schenk
USA
-2
70
73
71
214
T32
Marc Leishman
AUS
-2
72
70
72
214
T32
Pat Perez
USA
-2
69
73
72
214
T32
Ian Poulter
ENG
-2
73
68
73
214
T32
Patrick Rodgers
USA
-2
68
73
73
214
T32
Keith Mitchell
USA
-2
71
68
75
214
T32
Jhonattan Vegas
VEN
-2
69
70
75
214
T41
Ryan Blaum
USA
-1
73
72
70
215
T41
Johnson Wagner
USA
-1
71
72
72
215
T41
Beau Hossler
USA
-1
76
66
73
215
T41
Sam Saunders
USA
-1
73
68
74
215
T45
Rickie Fowler
USA
Par
74
71
71
216
T45
J. T. Poston
USA
Par
71
72
73
216
T45
Ryan Moore
USA
Par
71
72
73
216
T45
Scott Stallings
USA
Par
69
74
73
216
T45
Aaron Wise
USA
Par
72
70
74
216
T45
J. J. Spaun
USA
Par
71
70
75
216
T45
Patrick Reed
USA
Par
70
70
76
216
T52
Harris English
USA
1
76
69
72
217
T52
Viktor Hovland
NOR
1
74
70
73
217
T52
Hudson Swafford
USA
1
70
74
73
217
T52
Sam Ryder
USA
1
74
69
74
217
T52
Sam Horsfield
ENG
1
74
69
74
217
T52
D. A. Points
USA
1
72
71
74
217
T52
Zach Johnson
USA
1
70
71
76
217
T59
Sam Burns
USA
2
76
69
73
218
T59
Brandt Snedeker
USA
2
73
71
74
218
T59
Tim Herron
USA
2
72
70
76
218
T59
Joaquin Niemann
CHI
2
71
71
76
218
T59
Justin Rose
ENG
2
71
70
77
218
T64
Bryson DeChambeau
USA
3
75
70
74
219
T64
Hunter Mahan
USA
3
76
69
74
219
T64
Eddie Pepperell
ENG
3
72
68
79
219
T67
Steve Stricker
USA
4
75
69
76
220
T67
Martin Trainer
USA
4
70
71
79
220
69
Jimmy Walker
USA
6
70
71
81
222
70
Anirban Lahiri
IND
7
74
69
80
223
CUT
Austin Cook
USA
2
75
71
146
CUT
Brice Garnett
USA
2
75
71
146
CUT
Bronson Burgoon
USA
2
72
74
146
CUT
Bud Cauley
USA
2
71
75
146
CUT
Charley Hoffman
USA
2
75
71
146
CUT
Cheng Tsung Pan
TPE
2
73
73
146
CUT
Ernie Els
RSA
2
71
75
146
CUT
Kevin Na
USA
2
73
73
146
CUT
Kyle Stanley
USA
2
75
71
146
CUT
Michael Thompson
USA
2
76
70
146
CUT
Phil Mickelson
USA
2
68
78
146
CUT
Thorbjorn Olesen
DEN
2
73
73
146
CUT
Vaughn Taylor
USA
2
75
71
146
CUT
Vijay Singh
FIJ
2
73
73
146
CUT
Braden Thornberry
USA
3
76
71
147
CUT
Brian Gay
USA
3
74
73
147
CUT
Brooks Koepka
USA
3
74
73
147
CUT
Danny Lee
NZL
3
70
77
147
CUT
Justin Suh
USA
3
72
75
147
CUT
Michael Kim
KOR
3
73
74
147
CUT
J. B. Holmes
USA
4
78
70
148
CUT
Louis Oosthuizen
RSA
4
76
72
148
CUT
Martin Laird
SCO
4
77
71
148
CUT
Nate Lashley
USA
4
71
77
148
CUT
Ollie Schniederjans
USA
4
76
72
148
CUT
Ryan Armour
USA
4
75
73
148
CUT
Andrew Landry
USA
5
80
69
149
CUT
Brian Harman
USA
5
75
74
149
CUT
Corey Conners
CAN
5
71
78
149
CUT
Daniel Berger
USA
5
77
72
149
CUT
Robert Streb
USA
5
74
75
149
CUT
Shane Lowry
IRL
5
70
79
149
CUT
Danny Willett
ENG
6
78
72
150
CUT
Jason Dufner
USA
6
76
74
150
CUT
Joel Dahmen
USA
6
74
76
150
CUT
Si-Woo Kim
KOR
6
78
72
150
CUT
Abraham Ancer
USA
7
77
74
151
CUT
Cameron Champ
USA
7
81
70
151
CUT
Dominic Bozzelli
USA
7
72
79
151
CUT
Haotong Li
CHN
7
77
74
151
CUT
Harold Varner III
USA
7
79
72
151
CUT
Richy Werenski
USA
7
77
74
151
CUT
Stewart Cink
USA
7
72
79
151
CUT
Ted Potter Jr.
USA
7
81
70
151
CUT
Anders Albertson
USA
8
77
75
152
CUT
Scott Brown
USA
10
78
76
154
CUT
Scott Langley
USA
10
74
80
154
CUT
Rod Perry
USA
11
75
80
155
CUT
Bill Haas
USA
12
77
79
156
CUT
Matthew Every
USA
12
83
73
156
CUT
Chris Stroud
USA
13
79
78
157
CUT
Robert Gamez
USA
20
82
82
164
RET
Jason Day
AUS
Par
0
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