Arnold Palmer Invitational: Kevin Kisner, Charley Hoffman grab third-round lead

Jason Day believes defending the Arnold Palmer Invitational would be a tribute fit for “The King”, and history says the Australian can do it this week.

Rory McIlroy failed to fire on all cylinders in round two of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club and Lodge yesterday but did enough to claw his way into the weekend. “It’s just going to continue to get bigger, and this could potentially be the biggest week I think they could have here, just with the excitement of the tournament and kind of the celebration of Arnie’s life”. At least I’ve given myself a decent chance.

“These guys are not afraid and they’re going to make a lot of birdies and there’s no protecting leads”, Kisner said.

McIlroy pointed to better scoring conditions nd a co-operative putter for his resurgence. “But it’s all part of the learning experience, and just got to get better”. “So it was nice to see a few drop”. His sixth shot hit and rolled off the back of the green.

It’s all contingent on what happens with the rest of the field. “If I can be within five or six of the lead going into tomorrow, I would be pretty happy”.

Lucas Glover was another shot behind after a 69.

“I can take a lot from today”, McIlroy said. “I seem to hover right around that cut”.

“Hopefully the wind starts to get up and I can be somewhere close to the lead tomorrow”. It should be noted that he was six down after 54 holes at the Deutsche Bank Championship last fall.

However, he didn’t carry his early play the rest of the way. And had a lot of chances, just didn’t hole the putts. Getting off to another good start Sunday and keeping it going is what he’s focusing on.

And he is convinced his game is heading in the right direction as he builds up for Augusta, where he finished seventh past year behind fellow Englishman Danny Willett.

Kisner opened the back nine with another birdie and added another at the par-5 16th but missed a seven-foot par putt in bogeying the 18th.

Day’s round fell apart in the middle of the back nine. Kisner said Saturday that he’s just trying to make birdies and go as low as he can.

Like Henrik Stenson on Friday afternoon, Fowler found himself playing his third shot from the water left of the green (the ball wasn’t submerged). He made double bogey.

During his third-round 68, Kisner shook off a bogey on the par-3 second hole and went on the attack.

Fitzpatrick, who was seventh in the Masters previous year and made his Ryder Cup debut at Hazeltine, followed a birdie on the second with his first bogey of the week on the fourth, before adding four birdies and a bogey on the back nine.

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