Stenson leads Bay Hill

Monday, 19 Mar, 2018

A dozen golfers entered the day ahead of Woods, who was tied with nine players at 4-under par 140 total after 36 holes. "I hit loads of greens, loads of fairways today", said Rose, who had six birdies and a bogey.

Stenson began the day in a share of the lead and claimed the outright advantage with a 12-foot gain at the first, only for playing partner DeChambeau to drain a 20-footer at the par-three next. "I said, no, what is it flag".

"The fact that Joey asked me, do you want any layup numbers, pretty much said it all right there", Woods noted about the lie. The shot left him a virtual tap-in from three feet for his fourth birdie on the course's four par-5s. "So I don't know whether it's just go back to letting people walk around with beers in their hand, that's fine, but, I don't know".

Woods also holed from 11 feet for par on the ninth, his final hole, after finding a greenside bunker with his approach and is now vying for favouritism for the Masters with world number one Dustin Johnson.

A four over par 76 on day one proved costly for the 23-year-old and a one under par second round was not enough to recover, seeing him miss the cut by two shots. "I'll hopefully be within two or three of the lead, and I can make a run at it". Tiger birdied a third of the holes Saturday, including a 12-footer on the final green that almost blew the roof off the place.

"You've got to manage your game well and then play well around here if you want to be in the top of the leaderboard", Stenson said. After hitting a good shot on 17 and just buried in the face, I just didn't want to - I just felt like seven (under) was within reach. "I thought it was going a little too much, but stayed up there and went to seven feet and I was able to knock it in". He had all pars except for the 6, 7 and 8 holes where he had a birdie barrage. He was savoring the birdie putt he sank at the 18th hole at Bay Hill Club and what it meant.

The 14-time Major champion birdied all four of the par five holes yesterday, and McIlroy is aiming to improve his record there. "But I guess it didn't happen and we've just got to go out and play solid tomorrow to try and have a chance to win it".

The 2016 Open Championship victor, Stenson is among eight major winners in the top 20 - headlined by Tiger Woods - and had a chance to win at Bay Hill in both 2015 and 2016.

"Today was a hard fight, it was a grind", he said.

His last majors win was in 2008, beating Rocco Mediate in a US Open playoff despite a bad leg that would eventually undergo three surgeries.