Charley Hoffman birdies last three holes to share lead at Bay Hill
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 19/03/17 11:05pm
Charley Hoffman birdied his final three holes to grab a share of the lead heading in to the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
The overnight leader slipped four strokes off the pace after successive bogeys along the back nine, but produced a late rally to close a one-under 71 and join Kevin Kisner at the top of the leaderboard.
English pair Tyrrell Hatton and Matt Fitzpatrick and Marc Leishman head in to Sunday three shots off the pace, with Rory McIlroy a further two behind following a joint-low round-of-the-day 65.
Hoffman bogeyed his opening two holes but responded with a close-range gain at the fourth, as Kisner cancelled out a blemish at the second with four birdies over his next six holes.
Kisner then rolled in a six-footer at the 10th to move two ahead, only for Hoffman to respond with a tap-in gain at the 12th.
A birdie from Kisner at the 16th put him back two ahead, which extended to four strokes when Hoffman three-putted the 14th and also bogeyed the next hole.
Kisner bogeyed from eight feet at the last to close a four-under 68 and set the clubhouse target at 10 under, as Hoffman closed the gap by following a gain at the 16th with a birdie-two at the next.
Hoffman then found the rough off the final tee and missed the green with his approach, but then drained a 70-footer from the fringe to set up a final-round shoot-out with Kisner.
Hatton mixed eight birdies with three bogeys in another impressive display to share third spot, with Fitzpatrick staying in the hunt on eight under despite a level-par 72.
McIlroy began the day 11 strokes off the pace but fired seven birdies in a flawless display, following a front-nine 34 with a hat-trick of gains from the 10th before gains on two of his final three holes.
Rickie Fowler also matched the Northern Irishman's 65 to recover from two over and leave himself in the mix at five under, with Paul Casey and Justin Rose also in the group six strokes back.
Watch the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational live on Sunday from 4.30pm on Sky Sports 4 - your home of golf