ORLANDO, Fla. – It was a revolving door at the top of the leaderboard Saturday at Bay Hill, but when the dust settled Henrik Stenson’s name was above the rest. Here’s how things look heading into the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where Stenson leads by two shots:
Leaderboard: Henrik Stenson (-16), Morgan Hoffmann (-14), Jason Kokrak (-13), Matt Jones (-13), Ben Martin (-13), Matt Every (-13)
What it means: Hoffmann began the day with a three-shot lead, but squandered it before making the turn. Kokrak had a short stint in the pole position, but Stenson took sole possession of the lead with an eagle on No. 16 and then followed with a kick-in birdie on No. 18 for a 6-under 66.
Round of the day: Kokrak started the day seven shots off the pace, but he briefly moved to the front of the pack with a bogey-free, 7-under 65. He reeled off four birdies in a six-hole stretch on the front nine, then added three more on his inward half to give him a chance at his first win on the PGA Tour.
Best of the rest: Kiradech Aphibarnrat nearly had as many birdies Saturday as letters in his name, carding seven to match Kokrak’s bogey-free 65. The Thai became just the second player since 2001 to shoot a 6-under 30 on the front nine, and at 10 under he is in position for his best career finish on Tour.
Biggest disappointment: After consecutive birdies on Nos. 12 and 13 brought him within a shot of the lead, Rory McIlroy appeared ready to pounce. Instead, the Ulsterman stumbled with three bogeys in a row, including his second bogey of the week on No. 16, the easiest hole on the course. In the span of a few holes, he dropped from a tie with Stenson to seven shots behind the Swede.
Main storyline heading into Sunday: A number of players have a realistic shot at the trophy, but Stenson appears to be the man to beat coming off a pair of top-five finishes. He’ll be looking for his first PGA Tour win since he left East Lake with both the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup trophies in 2013.
Shot of the day: Daniel Berger offered up the first albatross in API history, holing a 4-iron from 237 yards for a 2 on the par-5 sixth hole. Berger played the par 5s in 6 under Saturday en route to a 4-under 68.
Quote of the day: “The golf ball doesn’t know what happened the previous three rounds, so I’ve got to go out tomorrow and keep the same mindset.” – Stenson