Saturday's roundup: Kisner, Hoffman tied for lead at Bay Hill
00:36, Mar 20, 2017
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Kisner's petal-to-the-metal style Saturday during the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational earned him a share of the 54-hole lead at Bay Hill Club and Lodge.
Rory McIlroy shot 71 to finish at one-over 145, leaving him 11 shots out of the lead, while defending champion Jason Day had an eagle on the par-5 (16th) and is at three-under 141.
The 2011 victor had been sitting in joint-103rd after an opening 77, which had seen him drop five shots in two holes at the end of his back nine, leaving him needing a marked improvement to be around for the weekend in the event's first staging since Palmer's passing away last September. Hoffman closed the round with a 70-foot birdie from the fringe on No. 18. "I just have to piece it all together; once I do that I'll be fine", said Day.
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Hoffman also paid tribute to Palmer, whose memory lingers this week after decades as the USA face of golf, making the sport popular on television and becoming a sports marketing pioneer in the process.
Perhaps that is understandable, as this tournament marks only the third event of the year for the four-time Major champion. Mr. Palmer was the King. "To keep his legacy going and his event would be something special".
"I've lost plenty of playoffs out here, so I try to make as many birdies as I can so I don't have to do that anymore", Kisner said with a smile. His chip onto the putting surface was lovely and left him only four feet for par, which he made to get into the clubhouse at 11-under with a one-stroke lead over Kisner.
There have also been six bogeys as well as seen birdies, and McIlroy desperately needs to find some consistency after his fractured rib played havoc with his Masters preparations. "I saw I got the lead early and then just tried to make as many birdies as I could on the back nine". Dialed in with his irons and deadly with his putter, Kisner birdied five of the next eight holes.
"If I go and three-putt 16 after, I mean a pretty good bogey on 15, the wind's out of your sails", he said.
"I feel really comfortable with the number I'm hitting", Kisner said. As things turned out it was much more than a spot of tea for the Ulsterman.
He is tied with Kevin Kisner after three rounds at Bay Hill. Daly had one of the most awesome scorecards in PGA Tour history when he took an 18 on the par-5 sixth hole, only to follow that up with a birdie 2 on the next hole.
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