ORLANDO, Florida – As attendance increases on the PGA Tour, the travel show is following suit.
Take, for example, the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Saturday, which saw thousands of fans with a multitude of Theaters around the Bay Hill Club and the Lodge.
Bryson DeChambeau briefly transformed into Rocky Balboa after finally delivering the knockout shot he had promised on the sixth hole.
Jordan Spieth made a hole-in-one, dipped a bunker shot, putts more than 30 yards, and did everything while playing for 14 holes as a single.
And 47-year-old Lee Westwood shrugged before he brought her to the young children with eight birdies and an eagle. His 7-under-65s gave the veteran a unparalleled edge over DeChambeau and Corey Conners. Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and defending champion Tyrell Hatton are all within five strokes of Westwood, who has won twelve times worldwide since his last Tour win at the 2010 St. Jude Classic in Memphis, but somehow only has a top-10 in 13 trips to Bay Hill, a place he loves.
« I know I can still play well when it counts, » said Westwood. “I’m not surprised, no, because I haven’t lost any of my length and I haven’t lost any of my excitement about going and working and working in the gym. My nerves are still intact, I’m still fighting and enjoying it. “
The Englishman hitting the ball is still one of the modern marvels of professional golf, but on Saturday it was his putting that put an end to some masked jaws. On lap 3 he had nearly 30 yards total putts, and that didn’t include a 32-foot eagle from the edge of # 16.
This time it was Westwood’s turn to crack a joke. Earlier this week, Westwood said some of his younger colleagues asked him if he wanted to compete in the PGA Tour Champions in two years. « Everyone keeps asking me when I go on the senior tour, » Westwood said with a laugh « So I think they’re trying to get rid of me. »
They’ll all start hunting Westwood on Sunday, including DeChambeau, who was undoubtedly the main attraction at Arnie’s Place this week.
Bryson DeChambeau didn’t hit the green, but he still put on a show by hitting a devastatingly aggressive line at Bay Hill on Saturday.
DeChambeau had spent days creating excitement before starting his big experiment on Saturday with a Revealed 370 yard ride that exploded from the clubface and landed just 70 yards to the right of the green at the 555 yard hole. It wasn’t exactly what he’d promised, but it didn’t matter to the fans or DeChambeau, who put both hands in the air with the ball in flight, as if it had just climbed the 72 stone steps leading up to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
« It felt like I won a tournament there, » said DeChambeau, who was lightly bird watching the hole. It was one of six birdies for DeChambeau, whose third round 68 also included a little sideshow on the ninth hole where he drove it far to the right and into lot 7 before getting an incredible 14-foot approach and par.Jordan Spieth got off to a hot start at Bay Hill on Saturday and picked up an ace in the par 3 second.
If anyone thought this was wild, they might need Dramamine to watch Spieth’s round. The resurgent superstar, who had two 54-hole leads last month, started his day by sinking a 19-foot birdie on the opening hole. Then he stepped on the second tee and picked up a 5-iron from 220 yards for his third career tour ace. At this point Spieth sensed it.
« It was almost like the feeling of the first shot at the Ryder Cup, where you are just so overwhelmed, » he said.
OK, maybe I feel it too much . Spieth tore his tee shot into the water on the third hole of par 4, but avoided disaster by draining a 32-foot par for par. His gambling competitor Justin Rose put three in the drink and later pulled a hole out with a back injury.
Rose’s sudden exit left Spieth alone to do his thing. He nearly blocked a run out of bounds on the par 5 fourth and made par. He had to drive a 15-foot par on the next hole. In the seventh par 3 race he was perfect for a sandy birdie. When it came his turn, he converted a 36-foot yardage to 10th place. He had to save par 16 on the inviting par 5 hole after he was only a few centimeters away from his second shot in the pond.
Spieth’s birdie on the 12th par 5 hole was the only easy circle that he could hit the Card bet.
« It was just another round, which unfortunately wasn’t boring for me, » said Spieth, who came with the numbers 14 and 17 to shoot 68 and come to 9 two strokes behind. « I try to have boring laps. »
BY Brentley Romine
BY Brentley Romine
BY Brentley Romine
Lee Westwood leads at Bay Hill, where he graduated poorly 23 years ago and received a few selected words from Arnold Palmer.
Lee Westwood leads Bryson DeChambeau and Corey Conners, Jordan Spieth leads two back at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Jordan Spieth got off to a hot start in Bay Hill on Saturday and picked up an ace in the par 3 second.
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