Monday 21 October 2019

WATCH: Sparkling Rory McIlroy storms into contention as he finds his best form once again at Bay Hill

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - MARCH 09: Rory McIlory plays his shot from the ninth tee during the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by Mastercard at the Bay Hill Club on March 09, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FLORIDA - MARCH 09: Rory McIlory plays his shot from the ninth tee during the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by Mastercard at the Bay Hill Club on March 09, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy stormed up the leaderboard at the Arnold Palmer Invitational as his third round of 66 put him in contention to defend the title he won last year at Bay Hill.

McIlroy cut a frustrated figure after he missed his chance to make a move on a course that he relishes on the opening two days, but heclicked into gear with a stunning third round that included seven birdies and just one bogey.

"I am feeling good. This was a great round to play to get myself back into contention," McIlroy told Sky Sports. "I am feeling good about my game. I have been feeling good all year.

"It is just a matter of doing the right things and doing them day after day and if I do all those maybe tomorrow is the day.

"Maybe tomorrow is the day that I can put it all together and shoot another good round of golf and hopefully that will be good enough.

"Honestly, the way the greens are, they are so firm and they are getting so fast, the only way I feel like I can stop the ball on the greens is by playing high cuts. I hit a lot of those shots today and they paid off."

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ORLANDO, FLORIDA - MARCH 09: Rory McIlory makes a putt for birdie on the 18th green as a gallery of patrons look on during the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by Mastercard at the Bay Hill Club on March 09, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images)

McIlroy will head into the final round at Bay Hill one shot off the lead held by England's Matt Fitzpatrick, who made his move with a round of 67, with his English colleague Matt Wallace just two behind.

"I am looking forward to Sunday," said Fitzpatrick. "I have not won on the PGA Tour before and I'm looking forward to it. I could go out there tomorrow and hit 80 or 65, but I feel like I've put the work in to get into this position.

"I just want to throw one more good round at it tomorrow and see where it takes me."

Aaron Baddeley, Kevin Kisner and Rafa Cabrera Bello are also in the mix at the top of the leaderboard, but all eyes will be on McIlroy as he looks to defend his title on Sunday.

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