Woods makes his move in Orlando after 66
American looking for back-to-back PGA Tour wins
Tiger Woods reacts after sinking a putt on the 16th green for an eagle during the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Florida. Photograph: Brian Blanco/Reuters
The four-time Masters winner spent the afternoon chasing down Justin Rose ’s two-shot lead on the front nine and, with the Englishman dropping three shots on the way back in, Woods’s round of 66 placed him two shots ahead of both the Englishman and the impressive Rickie Fowler.
The younger Californian holed three birdies on the front nine and three on the back, dropping only one shot on the ninth to finish the day with an overall score of 207 at Bay Hill Club & Lodge.
Woods, who followed up his birdie on the 15th with an eagle on the 16th, told Sky Sports 2: “I played halfway decent today and hit a lot of good shots. I made a few putts which was key today and I’m very pleased I picked up towards the middle part of the round.”
The 37-year-old is chasing an eighth title at this event, and his 99th professional win, and he admitted his significant experience in central Florida gave him an edge going into tomorrow.
“Once we figure out what a golf course is like we figure out how to play on them and that’s been the case in my scheduling,” he added.
“Over the course of my career I’ve played well on a few courses and this is one of them.”
Named the PGA Tour rookie of the year in 2010, Fowler looked to be out of contention following his one over-par round on Thursday.
But the overcast conditions have steadily lifted and Fowler, wearing fluorescent pink trousers, said: “I came into today and kept swinging it well. It’s warmed up and the course has played a little easier. I knew it was swinging well and I just had to let things happen these last few days.”
Rose, meanwhile, went into today tied for the lead with Bill Haas but four bogeys on the back nine saw him surrender four strokes to Woods, with the North Carolina player carding a one over par round of 73.
New York’s John Huh matched Rose and Fowler on one under while Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano of Spain and Americans Jimmy Walker and Ken Duke are all tied with Haas for fifth on eight-under par.