Thursday’s opening round 62 would have been a ride on the “Rock ‘n Roller Coaster” at Hollywood Studios, blasting out of the gate, on target all day. Friday’s 68 was more like a ride on the “Tomorrowland Speedway,” in the groove nearly all the way. Today? He strapped in for the thrilling ups and downs of the “Tower of Terror,” recording five birdies and four bogeys for a 71.
Tomorrow, the Australian is hoping for a smooth, feel-good journey on “it’s a small world.”
Scott, who is dealing with a sore throat, will carry a three-shot lead into Sunday’s final round. If he hangs on to win his first Arnold Palmer Invitational title, he will probably thank back to his final stroke on Saturday.
After placing his approach on 18 about 20 feet above the hole, he raced his birdie putt seven feet past. Had he missed the comebacker, it would have been his third straight bogey on the tough finishing hole, and his second three-putt of the day.
“I’d missed two putts of shorter length on the back nine already,” said Scott. “To miss another one would not have been good going into tomorrow.”
Instead he calmly rolled the putt into the center of the cup.
Scott will be paired with Keegan Bradley, who birdied six holes on the back nine, including the final three, to shoot 66, equaling the low round of the day. His 12-under-par total is one better than Matt Every (66) and Jason Kokrak (67).
Like Scott, the current Masters champion, Bradley is a major championship winner (2011 PGA). A friend passed along a putting tip recently that played a big role in today’s surge.
“He just said to relax over the putt, and see it like you’re a little kid, and that’s what I’ve been doing,” said Bradley, who has only one top 10 finish this year.
Final round tee times begin Sunday at 7:55 a.m. The final pairing of Scott and Bradley will tee off at 1:55 p.m.