Showdown Awaits As Stars Shine At Bay Hill

19 March, 2018, 00:36 | Author: Jason Torres
  • Woods shot an opening round of 68 to sit one shot behind Jimmy Walker on four under par

Stenson missed a short birdie putt and a 12-foot eagle attempt on the back nine Saturday, had his tee shot knocked down by a gust of wind that led to bogey and closed out a 1-under 71 to go into the final round with another chance to win at Bay Hill.

The 2016 British Open victor Stenson back up his sizzling opening round of eight-under-par 64 at Orlando, Florida's famed Bay Hill course with a 69 on day two, moving to 11 under the card.

American Talor Gooch was third on 135 with South Korean An Byeong Hun fourth on 136 and American Charley Hoffman another stroke adrift. Felt a little bit more in control of my game.

"The fact that Joey asked me, do you want any layup numbers, pretty much said it all right there", Woods noted about the lie.

Four players are at eight-under 208, including Rickie Fowler, who posted a two-under 70 that featured six birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey on his final hole of the day.

Stenson had four consecutive top-10 showings between 2013 and 2016 but has yet to win at Bay Hill. "Maybe a low one tomorrow will give me a chance to kind of steal one from behind".

After pars on 10 and 11, the momentum finally started to trickle in with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 12th. He was seven shots back. On the par-5 16th, with his ball just below the fairway bunker lip, he decided against laying up, then flew trees and water to find the green, later two-putting for another birdie.

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When he was out almost nine months recovering from reconstructive surgery, his first victory back was at Bay Hill when he made a 15-foot birdie for a one-shot victory over Sean O'Hair.

Picking up where he left he left off last weekend when he finished second at the Valspar, Woods got a cool morning off to a hot start by collecting three birdies on an error-free first nine.

Woods, a 14-time major victor making a comeback after back surgery, showed solid form at the Bay Hill course where he has captured eight career titles.

Even with major champions Stenson, McIlroy and Justin Rose starting the day ahead of him, Woods made it feel like he was about to turn the board (and possibly the golf world) upside down with just three weeks to go before Masters Sunday.

"Just be a little more instinctive, reactive and obviously Brad's one of the best putters to play on the PGA TOUR, so it was great to be able to pick his brain for a couple hours", he said.

Winless for nine years, Casey, 40, had actually won it by 2-1/2 feet-the distance that Woods' sudden death-sending putt had stopped before the cup, from 40 feet on 18.

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