Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tiger leads Palmer Invite at Bay Hill heading into final round

Times wires

ORLANDO — The shot looked daunting to Tiger Woods, and so did the view from the bunker behind the eighth green at Bay Hill. Across a small lake was a large scoreboard that showed Justin Rose off to such a hot start that Woods was five shots behind and trying not to lose ground.

Two shots and two putts changed everything Saturday in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Woods hit what he called his best shot of the third round, a 6-iron from 196 yards that settled 12 feet below the hole on No. 15 to set up a birdie. Minutes later he hit another 6-iron from 183 yards to 20 feet and slammed his fist toward the hole when he made eagle, his third in three days.

Just like that, Woods was atop the leaderboard, a familiar spot for him on this course. The defending champion finished off his round of 6-under 66 with two pars, and when Rose lost energy and stumbled over the final hour to finish at par, Woods had a two-shot lead over Rose and two others at 11-under 205.

That's a daunting view for everyone chasing Woods. He is 41-2 on the PGA Tour when he has the outright lead going into the final round.

"Just because I've won here doesn't ensure that I'm going to win the tournament," said Woods, who has won at Bay Hill seven times. "The conditions are different. The game might be different. But the objective is still to put myself in position to win the golf tournament and somehow get it done on Sunday. Over the course of my career, I've done a pretty decent job of that."

Woods' seven Bay Hill wins are tied for second-most on one course in tour history with his seven at Doral, ESPN said. The most wins on one course is eight — by Woods at Torrey Pines.

Also with a win today, Woods can displace Rory McIlroy as No. 1 in the world rankings. Woods hasn't been No. 1 since the last week of October 2010.

Rose, tied for second with Rickie Fowler (67) and John Huh (71), was six shots ahead of Woods through four holes. He had a three-shot lead on the back nine until he crumbled, making three bogeys over the last six holes. He shot 39 on the back nine.

Rose attributed that to a lack of energy, perhaps from the muggy conditions, but didn't mind his position.

"I just wanted to go out and play a good round of golf," he said. "I wasn't too worried whether I was two ahead or two behind. The real day is (today). Obviously, you don't want to give Tiger too many shots. The back nine was a shame, but (Saturday) means nothing until (today) plays out."

Fowler dropped only one shot on a muggy day with a short burst of showers, closing with par from the back bunker on 18.

Huh, 22, was the tour's rookie of the year last year. He has one career win, last year's Mayakoba Golf Classic. He missed the cut at last week's Tampa Bay Championship at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor.

LPGA: Beatriz Recari kept her lead at the Kia Classic in Carlsbad, Calif., with 3-under 69 that put her one stroke ahead of Karie Webb (70) at 11-under 205. Tampa resident Kristy McPherson (69) was 1 under.

Champions: Corey Pavin birdied his first six holes and finished with 5-under 67 to join Bernhard Langer (65), Roger Chapman (67) and Joe Daley (66) atop the leaderboard at 8-under 136 after the second round of the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic in Saucier. Esteban Toledo (65), Tom Pernice (65) and Gene Sauers (66) were a stroke behind

Tiger leads Palmer Invite at Bay Hill heading into final round 03/23/13 [Last modified: Saturday, March 23, 2013 9:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. After offseason of work hard, play hard, DeSean Jackson ready to produce for Bucs


    TAMPA — There's no telling what DeSean Jackson will do once he gets a football in his hands. Perhaps that's why a camera crew followed his every move Wednesday while the Bucs' new $30 million receiver stood on a step of the hot tub that empties into a spacious, azure pool at his new, sprawling five-bedroom home in …

    DeSean Jackson jokes around with girlfriend Kayla Phillips at their Tampa home as a crew from HBO’s Hard Knocks documents their day.
  2. Rays journal: Jake Odorizzi goes on 10-day DL with back strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jake Odorizzi is hoping his struggles this season can be tied directly to the lower-back strain he has tried to pitch through since spring training. Toward that end, the Rays placed Odorizzi on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday retroactive to Tuesday.

    Rays center fielder Mallex Smith smiles after hitting a single advancing runners in the third inning. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  3. Playoff chase heats up for Rays with key series at Yankees up first (w/ video)

    The Heater


    It was important that Evan Longoria crushed a two-run homer in the sixth inning Wednesday and Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo shot off the farthest catwalk an inning later.

    Adeiny Hechavarria (11) and Tim Beckham (1) celebrate the double play to end the top of the sixth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Thursday, New York

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Yankees

    7:05, Yankee Stadium, New York

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Saturday, July 22, 2017.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It is going to get interesting tonight when the Rays begin a four-game series against the Yankees in New York. The Rays feel they are good enough to win the East Division. These next four games and the four that follow in Houston will be a good measuring stick.