Stenson leads while Tiger surges at Bay Hill

Lynette Rowe
March 18, 2018

McIlroy was six shots back, which felt like a little bit more considering the way Stenson is playing.

The par streak was extended to 13 holes before Stenson found his range on the greens to birdie the fifth, sixth and seventh to maintain his bid for a first win of the season. He has undergone four back operations, doubting at one stage if he would ever return to competitive golf.

Henrik Stenson clung to a one-stroke lead in Saturday's third round of the PGA Arnold Palmer Invitational while Tiger Woods surged late to continue his strong comeback from back surgery.

"I was fighting and didn't hit anything close", Woods said.

"Over the weekend previous year I was hitting driver pretty much everywhere, leaving myself wedges in".

"Today was just a bad day", Woods said. Pretty much having their way with things at the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by Mastercard, Stenson added a 3-under 69 to his opening 64 to get halfway home in 11-under, tied with DeChambeau (67-66). Walker holed out from 132 yards for eagle on the 18th fairway to complete an opening 67 and share second in the clubhouse with USA compatriot Rickie Fowler, one stroke ahead of Woods.

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Woods, a 14-time major victor, again showed solid form with the Masters looming in three weeks, firing a three-under par 69 to stand on 209 through 54 holes at the Orlando layout where he has captured eight career titles.

"People have been so supportive".

Asked what made the difference between missing the cut in last week's Valspar Championship and his performance so far, the world number 15 told PGA Tour Live: "Putting more than anything, but a combination of putting and my shots".

Woods curled in a 12-foot birdie putt at the par-4 18th to complete his day, cocking for a full-speed fist pump before adopting a mellow low-key finish because "I figured that would probably (only) get me within five or six of the lead". I scrambled for par all those three holes after hitting some not-so-good golf shots.

Woods has shown solid form with the Masters looming in three weeks, firing a three-under par 69 to stand on 209 through 54 holes at the Orlando layout where he has captured eight career titles. That set the stage for his greatest putt of all.

He tallied three birdies on the front nine and kept it going with back-to-back birdies on Nos. But the work wasn't over. He made an early bogey, then birdied five times in a 10-hole stretch starting at the par-5 fourth.

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