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Brandon Matthews was frustrated when a fan screamed in the middle of his 8-foot putt in a playoff.
Matt Fitzpatrick manages to avoid bogeys on a Bay Hill course so firm he could barely find any pitch marks on the greens. It led to a 5-under 67 and a one-shot lead over Rory McIlroy going into the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Tommy Fleetwood uses two new clubs to make two eagles on his way to a 6-under 66 that gave him a share of the lead with Keegan Bradley going into the weekend at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Bradley says he feels comfortable at Bay Hill, and it shows. He shot 68. They were four shots clear of anyone else.
Rafa Cabrera Bello has a Bay Hill debut to remember with a 7-under 65 for a two-shot lead while playing with Arnold Palmer’s grandson. The entertainment, as usual, came from Phil Mickelson. Lefty played a right-handed shot that led to double bogey and ends round by nearly holing out from 18th fairway
Rory McIlroy has few complaints about the state of his game, only the results. That doesn’t bother him, either. Behind him are 12 months since his last victory at Bay Hill. Ahead of him is the Masters and another shot at the career Grand Slam. He tries to defend his title this week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational against a typically strong field that no longer includes Tiger Woods as he copes with a neck strain.
Tiger Woods has withdrawn from the Arnold Palmer Invitational with what he describes as a neck strain. Woods says it has nothing to do with his lower back and he is not concerned about long-term effects. He says he hopes to be ready for The Players Championship next week
The connection Rory McIlroy had with Arnold Palmer was strong even before he delivered a Sunday charge that would have made the King proud.
Henrik Stenson gets his third chance in four years to finally win the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and the final hour Saturday reminded him it won’t be easy.
Henrik Stenson gave himself another chance to win at Bay Hill, and he made it a little bit tougher on Tiger Woods.
Henrik Stenson had a hot putter, a much quieter crowd and a one-shot lead in the Arnold Palmer Invitational. One week after Stenson returned from his winter break and spent two days with Tiger Woods and his raucous crowds, he made birdie on half of the holes at Bay Hill for an 8-under 64, his lowest round ever on the course the King built.
The future of Tiger Woods is filled with optimism because of the past. The next stop on his remarkable road to recovery from four years’ worth of back trouble is the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He has won the tournament a record eight times on a course that feels comfortable to him. He also has a history of winning at Bay Hill during various comebacks.
Charley Hoffman wasn’t planning on being at Bay Hill until he failed to qualify for a World Golf Championship next week. The change in plans has worked out nicely so far. He had a 66 and the early lead in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Doc Giffin, the longtime press secretary for Arnold Palmer, couldn’t make it to Bay Hill for the first Arnold Palmer Invitational without his boss because of the snowstorm. He was the last to find out the media center had been named after him
Sam Saunders started the tribute with a drive from the spot on the Bay Hill range where his grandfather, Arnold Palmer, used to practice. Sixty more players followed, one after the other, ending with defending champion Jason Day. It was golf’s version of a 21-gun salute. The opening ceremony was a new tradition at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the first without its tournament host and golf’s most beloved figure.
Tiger Woods won’t be playing the Arnold Palmer Invitational next week and still doesn’t know when he can compete again. Woods announced on his website Thursday night that ongoing rest and rehabilitation on his back will keep him away from the tournament he has won eight times.