Scott takes three-shot lead into Bay Hill finale


ORLANDO, Fla. – Adam Scott began the day with a seven-shot lead, but that cushion was quickly eroded Saturday at Bay Hill. Here’s how things stand heading into the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where Scott leads by three:

Leaderboard: Adam Scott (-15), Keegan Bradley (-12), Matt Every (-11), Jason Kokrak (-11), Chesson Hadley (-10), Francesco Molinari (-10)

What it means: Scott’s lead was trimmed to two after only an hour of play Saturday, and at one point the Aussie led by just a single shot over the hard-charging Hadley on the front nine. Scott added a quartet of back-nine birdies to again extend his advantage, but now will still be within the reach of Bradley – and perhaps others – when the final round begins.

Round of the day: Hoping to end a winless drought that is approaching two years, Bradley fired a 6-under 66 to play his way into the final pairing on Sunday. The former PGA champion birdied six holes on the back nine, including three straight from Nos. 16-18 to close out his round.

Best of the rest: A lifelong Florida resident, Every matched Bradley’s 66 to move up the leaderboard Saturday afternoon. Every made it around Bay Hill without dropping a shot, adding four circles to his scorecard on the back nine to grab a share of third place through 54 holes.

Biggest disappointment: J.B. Holmes began the day in a tie for second, but the veteran lost ground after carding an even-par 72. Holmes had an eventful inward half that included a double bogey on No. 12 and an eagle on No. 16. He was the only player currently in the top 14 who failed to break par Saturday, and as a result fell eight shots off the pace.

Main storyline heading into Sunday: This still appears to be Scott’s event, but the gap between him and the field has certainly narrowed. Bradley will look to chase him down in a duel of major champions, but a total of six players will begin the day within five shots of the lead. If Saturday’s scoring is any indication, a low number could be out there for the contenders looking to prevent the Aussie from going wire-to-wire.

Shot of the day: Playing his approach to the dangerous 18th from 166 yards, Bradley took dead aim with a 9-iron and landed his ball within five feet of the hole. The resulting birdie, his eighth of the day, got him within three shots of the lead and earned him a Sunday pairing with Scott.