Henrik Stenson leads Arnold Palmer Invitational after third round

Henrik Stenson

 

Henrik Stenson, who began his third round tied for the lead with Bryson DeChambeau, followed up an opening-round 8-under 64 and a second-round, bogey-free 3-under 69 with a 1-under 71 in round three to take the solo 54-hole lead of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.  He will enter the final round with a one-stroke lead over DeChambeau.

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

Stenson missed the cut at the Valspar Championship, but worked with his putting coach on those extra days off and the results have put him in the lead this week after 54 holes.

Despite missing the cut last week, Stenson’s record at the Arnold Palmer Invitational made him a favorite this week and he has not disappointed.

Between 2013 and 2016, Stenson finished in the top eight at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, highlighted by a runner-up in 2015 and T3 in 2016. He missed the cut last year.

Stenson played conservatively off the tee in the first three rounds. He added a five wood and a three wood, the new Roque from Callaway golf, to his bag last week and evidently has all the clubs dialed in. He has hit the five wood on many of the par four holes this week and used the three wood off the tee on the longer holes. Despite the distance he is giving up, he was ranked first in proximity to the hole after the second round.

Henrik Stensons Stats

R1 stats: 13 of 14 fairways, 12 of 18 greens, 5 of 6 scrambling, 20 putts.

R2 stats: 11 of 14 fairways, 14 of 18 greens, 4 of 4 scrambling, 29 putts.

R3 stats: 11 of 14 fairways, 11 of 18 greens, 4 of 7 scrambling, 29 putts

Bryson DeChambeau

DeChambeau is one stroke behind leader Stenson, at 11-under par after the third round.

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.

Making his 56th PGA TOUR start, DeChambeau is in search of his second victory (2017 John Deere Classic). En route to his victory at TPC Deere Run, DeChambeau began the final round four strokes back but birdied his final two holes to win by one stroke over Patrick Rodgers.

Currently ranked 49th in the FedExCup, DeChambeau has four top-25 and two top-10 finishes in nine previous starts, with his best finish a T5 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. DeChambeau withdrew from last week’s Valspar Championship after the first round (76) due to a bad back.

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 is seeking a record ninth win in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

After completing his third round Woods said, “”I am four back, right now within reach. Unfortunately I made three bogeys today, but came back with three birdies. I’m going to have to shoot a low round tomorrow, and probably will need a little help.”

Bay Hill is one of three courses Woods has eight wins, including Torrey Pines, home of the Farmers Insurance Open, and Firestone CC (South), home of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. No player in PGA TOUR history has ever recorded nine wins at one venue.

Woods stats:

R1 stats: 8 of 14 fairways, 11 of 18 greens, 6 of 7 scrambling, 25 putts.

R2 stats: 8 of 14 fairways, 10 of 18 greens, 7 of 8 scrambling, 27 putts.

R3 stats: 9 of 14 fairways, 13 of 18 greens, 2 of 5 scrambling, 28 putts.

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 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.

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