Red hot Rory takes victory at Bay Hill

Grant SmithMar 19, 2018

"Dr. Guyer - Thank you for making Tiger Woods great again!"

Course: Bay Hill Lodge & Resort.

Defending Palmer champion Marc Leishman is next best of the Australians two shots back at three under, while countryman Adam Scott is one under midway through the back nine.

Meanwhile, 14-time major victor Woods has poured cold water on hopes he could get himself into weekend contention after dropping two shots to fall to two under the card through 11 holes on Friday.

Bay Hill provided a change in both areas.

McIlroy completed his round with an impressive birdie putt which afterwards the 28-year-old said was his attempt to emulate Tiger Woods.

If it only it were that simple.

"That just took time and patience and I'm scoring now - I know where to miss it, I don't really have to think that much and I'm going out there and doing it. The entire week I hit a lot of good putts".

"I'll tell you after Augusta!" he said with a grin.

Before play began at Bay Hill, the 14-time majors victor Woods said: "I'm very excited". In some respects, so is Woods.

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy is two shots off the lead after a five-under-par 67 in the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida.

Before his second-place finish at Valspar, Woods, 79 PGA Tour wins across his name, was 12th in the Honda Classic.

Woods is seeking a record ninth victory at Bay Hill in just his fifth PGA Tour event since undergoing spinal fusion surgery in April 2017, his fourth back operation in the space of three years.

Tiger will get it going alongside Bud Cauley at 1:30 p.m. ET. Felt a little bit more in control of my game. Day was explaining the difference when he looked over to the right at a TV screen showing - who else? He won in 2003 by 11 shots while coping with dry heaves from food poisoning. Matsuyama is playing for the first time since he withdrew from the Phoenix Open because of a wrist injury.

Woods didn't bogey the first hole on Saturday like he did the day prior - but he did drop at a shot at the par-3 second when he failed to get up and down from the bunker.

Woods, a 79-time victor on the PGA Tour, knows he will have be much sharper to have any chance this weekend. "The only frustrating part was not really getting the score with me on that fine play coming in". "They're all out there for him".

Woods finished his pro-am round Wednesday and posed for a few pictures with volunteers, even one of their children.

Staying below the hole on most greens has been pivotal, Stenson said.

If it were a Ryder Cup match, it would have ended after the 17th hole.

"I played well, scored well, it was a good day all around", Woods said. I'm just playing shots, playing the holes, playing angles, where to miss the golf ball, all these things are becoming more intuitive.

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