Patrick Reed in the hunt at Arnold Palmer Invitational

Monday, 09 Mar, 2020

Leishman, who won his fifth US PGA title in January at Torrey Pines, birdied the par-5 sixth and 12th holes while making bogeys at the par-4 10th and 15th. "After the double on 11 I thought I'd played my way out of it because I didn't see the scoreboard".

Hatton was at 6-under 210, the highest 54-hole score to lead at Bay Hill since Ben Crenshaw in 1993.

"I think if I shoot two scores in the 60s and get myself to double digits under par, I think I'll have a really good chance".

What it means: For the second straight week, the flawless storm of tough course conditions and high winds has kept low scoring at bay.

"I actually added up my score, my scorecard in the scorer's hut there and kind of did a double-take, " Leishman said.

He had a bogey on the 15th before redeeming himself with a birdie on the next hole, but he lost way with his double bogey on the 18th, taking six shots on the par-four hole after hitting his second shot into a water hazard, resulting in one-shot penalty. Only one player among the 69 in the field shot a round below par - Max Homa with a 2-under 70.

Reed, 29, started on the back nine and made an early bogey at the 11th before reeling off four birdies on his opening nine.

Kang was not the only player to run up a big number on a day of carnage as strong winds, rock-hard greens and thick rough conspired to prevent anyone from breaking 70 at the event for the first time in 40 years. "It felt like I shot 65 not 72".

Hatton's playing partner Leishman, who made a costly double-bogey at the third, kept the pressure on with birdies at the 12th and 16th either side of a bogey at the 14th, but the Englishman refused to buckle over the closing stretch. Police ejected the fan from the course.

McDowell, meanwhile, suffered on his back nine in tough morning conditions, carding a two-over 74 that left him just five shots behind. It was only his fourth career round in the 80s. Sung Kang tripled the 18th to drop to 1 under overall. He still was only five shots behind. It was really tough. You are really having to think out there, think about the crosswinds and it's a little different to the golf we play every week.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout of South Africa scratched out a 73 and was three shots behind, along with Sungjae Im, who made a 55-foot birdie putt on the last hole for a 74, and Danny Lee, who double bogeyed the last hole for a 75. DeChambeau was among just a handful of players to shoot even par, a group that also included Leishman, Viktor Hovland, Xander Schauffele and K.H. Lee, who carded his 72 alongside Brooks Koepka. You could hit not bad a shot and you would end up nowhere near.

"No doubt I'll be nervous standing on the first tee for the last round, but that's why we practice and that's where we want to be".