PGA Tour: After Viktor Hovland blew a huge lead at Bay Hill on Saturday, American duo Billy Horschel and Talor Gooch share the lead going into the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Horschel (-1) and Gooch (par) finished seven under par in difficult circumstances in Florida, while overnight leader Hovland was a shot back following a disappointing back nine that saw him score a three-over 75.
Rory McIlroy and Tyrell Hatton, who started Saturday two strokes behind Hovland on seven under, also had a challenging round and fell to three and one under, respectively.
Scottie Scheffler is in fourth place on five under par after tying for the best round of the day with a 68, while Gary Woodland of the United States is a shot farther back.
On Sunday, McIlroy might be grouped with Graeme McDowell, another Northern Irishman who shot a 69 earlier in the day to finish on three-under.
After an eagle from a green-side bunker on the sixth, Hovland appeared certain to take the lead into the final round, leaving him 10 under at the turn.
Four bogeys on the back nine, though, saw the world No. 4 lose his edge, while his American opponents were able to find more consistency in the difficult circumstances.
Horschel, on the other hand, never looked like he’d keep his overnight lead, but three birdies on the back nine, including a putt from the edge at the extremely difficult 18th, earned his spot in Sunday’s final pairing.
He’ll be paired with Gooch, who overcame a shaky front nine to take the lead after birdies at 15 and 16 until a bogey at the 18th reduced him to seven-under.
When back-to-back birdies at 12 and 13 moved him back to one over for the day, McIlroy appeared to have left his poor start behind him, but a double-bogey at 16 followed when an errant drive went out of bounds.
With a birdie at the 16th, the world No. 5 appeared to be on his way back, but bogeys at the final two holes left him with plenty of work to do on Sunday.
“It’s quite difficult out there. It’s quite difficult. It’s all on a knife’s edge right now “According to McIlroy.
“You’re literally talking, like, two feet here, two feet there from 200 yards can make a huge difference in where the ball ends up.”
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