Scott's lead down to 3 at Bay Hill
03/21/2014 6:50 PM
03/22/2014 6:50 PM
Orlando, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Adam Scott cooled off after two hot rounds, shooting a 1-under 71 on Saturday but keeping his spot atop the leaderboard after three rounds of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Scott ended 54 holes at 15-under-par 201. He'll take a 3-shot lead into the final round after leading by seven entering Saturday.
The reigning Masters champion has won six of the previous nine times he's had at least a piece of the 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour.
"I really enjoyed the golf today. It was tough, you know I got off to a tough start and just fought my way back all day," Scott said. "They don't just hand you PGA Tour events when you lead after 36 holes, you have to go work for it."
Keegan Bradley and Matt Every both fired 6-under 66s for the low rounds of the day. Bradley jumped into second place at minus-12 and Every climbed into a share of third place with Jason Kokrak (67) at 11-under-par 205 at Bay Hill.
Chesson Hadley and Francesco Molinari both posted 3-under 69s and dropped into a tie for fifth at minus-10.
Ian Poulter is alone in seventh place at 8-under 208 after posting a 3-under 69 in round three.
Scott stumbled to a 3-putt bogey on the first and hit his third shot to 11 feet at the par-4 fifth, but was unable to convert the par putt. The two dropped shots left Scott at 12-under, where he was one clear of Hadley, who birdied the second, then poured in three consecutive birdie tries from the fourth to get within one.
Scott got one stroke back when he kicked in a short birdie effort at the sixth. He parred the next three holes before extending his lead.
Hadley, who bogeyed the seventh, birdied the 11th to briefly get back within two. Scott poured in a 31-footer for birdie on No. 10 to push his lead to three. Hadley dipped four back when he bogeyed the 14th and parred the last four holes.
Scott converted a 16-foot birdie chance on No. 13, moving him to 15-under and four clear of Every. Scott left himself seven feet for par at the 14th and missed that to trim his lead to three.
At the 15th, Scott rolled in a 24-foot birdie try and made it two in a row with a 2-putt birdie on the 16th. His lead was back to five, but Scott missed a 5-foot par putt on No. 17 to cut his lead to three as Bradley birdied the last. Scott parred 18 to end there.
"To miss another one would have opened the door a little bit too much for my liking," said Scott of making his par putt at 18. "That's huge going into tomorrow."
Bradley birdied the first and sixth, but gave one stroke back when he bogeyed the eighth. Around the turn, he converted three straight birdies from the 10th to jump to minus-10.
The 2011 PGA Championship winner stumbled to a bogey on the 13th. After a pair of pars, Bradley birdied the final three holes to climb within three of the lead.
"I hit the ball nicely all week, all year really, but the last two days the putter has really gotten going," Bradley said. "I was talking with two of my buddies and they told me to relax and not over-read putts, and see it like you're a little kid and that's kind of the way I've been doing it."
NOTES: Scott will look to join Patrick Reed as the only wire-to-wire winners on the PGA Tour this year ... Fred Couples is the only wire-to-wire victor in the event's history ... If Scott wins, he will make it two straight Australian winners on the PGA Tour for the first time since 2010 when he won the Texas Open and Jason Day captured the Byron Nelson Championship. John Senden won last week's Valspar Championship ... There have only been four international winners of this event ... Every, Graeme McDowell and Vijay Singh all the only bogey-free rounds on Saturday.
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