Stenson makes Bay Hill turn with two-shot lead

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ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 16: Tiger Woods and Hideki Matsuyama of Japan walk from the tee during the second round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented By MasterCard at Bay Hill Club and Lodge on March 16, 2018 in Orlando, Florida.

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The third-round 69 breaks a small string of third-round improvement during Woods' three previous made cuts this year.

Tiger Woods lost ground to the field in round two, posting two bogeys on the front and two birdies on the back. I really hit the ball solidly, I controlled it, and I hit a lot of attractive putts.

"(Woods) is the reason why we as youngsters have all become really, really good", DeChambeau said. Sometimes maybe more conservative like I was yesterday because I wasn't on, but I felt I missed in the correct spots on just about every single shot and today was the same thing.

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Henrik Stenson did just enough right and was happy enough to take a one-shot lead in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, even if he wishes it could have been more.

Tiger Woods is looking to gain ground on moving day at Bay Hill. With only two holes remaining and the leaders having par-fives remaining, a victory now seems out of reach.

His putting carried him to a 64 in the opening round, and it saved him again on Friday. Sometimes, I wish he would have listened to me a little more, but he's very stubborn and he likes to go his own way. "I'll hopefully be within two or three of the lead, and I can make a run at it". "So that was crucial". "I can't really ask for much more".

He was strong when it mattered.

The Co Down man (28) holed 110-feet of putts on the slickest greens seen on the United States circuit this year, rattling in eight putts between six and 25 feet en route to a two-under 70. He atoned for that with a 70-foot birdie putt.

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Woods said when he returned for his latest comeback at the Hero World Challenge in December, he wouldn't have been able to hit the shot.

And then came Woods, who birdied two of the last three holes for a 69 to share 10th on 209 with United States compatriots Patrick Reed, Bud Cauley and Grayson Murray. Rickie Fowler headed a group of five on 138 while four-time Major champions Rory McIlroy and Ernie Els were among those six strokes back on 139. He immediately bounced back though, making eagle at the par-5 12th to get to three under on the round. Wise missed a six-foot birdie putt on the final hole. "I'm still getting used to what my body can do, shots I'm hitting and playing, competing again".

Woods begins the final round five shots back of Stenson after a 3-under 69 Saturday. He also made a few mistakes that slowed his momentum and caught some tough lies in the bunkers, but still managed to have his ninth straight round at par or better. With his ball plugged near the side of the slip, he swung a little harder to make sure the shaft didn't get stuck banging into the side of the turf and holed a 20-foot par putt. He never got anything particularly close.

"Today was just a bad day", he said to media after the round. He trailed after 36 holes in four of those victories, including a seven-shot deficit to Vijay Singh in 2008.

But, playing with supreme confidence, Woods was quickly back on track, picking up his fourth birdie of the day at the par- five fourth to inch his way back up the leaderboard.

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