• Arnold Palmer Invitational, Round Three

Woods out in front as Rose struggles

ESPN staff
March 23, 2013
Justin Rose saw his swing desert him briefly at the Arnold Palmer Invitational © Getty Images

Arnold Palmer Invitational leaderboard

An impressive eagle at the 16th catapulted Tiger Woods to the head of the field at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Saturday, as Justin Rose saw his swing desert him over the closing holes.

Rose held the lead for much of the third round but, after some sloppy shots midway through the back nine, was usurped by the fast-finishing woods - who eagled the par-five 16th to reach 11-under par - finishing at that number to hold a two-shot advantage going into Sunday.

Woods himself did not seem to play well for much of the day - he missed a succession of fairways between the eighth and 13th - but held matters together with his short game, holing important putts from almost everywhere before finishing with a flourish.

"I actually played halfway decent today," Wood said. "Made a few putts. Really pleased with how I played."

The 14-time major champion had five birdies during his round, with a bogey at the 13th his one mistake of the day. Then he conjured up the three at 16 - at exactly the same time as Rose made an unsightly bogey at the 13th - to hit the front.

If Woods holds on to win on Sunday, it will be his eighth victory around Bay Hill.

"Once we figure out what golf courses we like we tend to play them," Woods noted. "That's tended to be the case with my schedule. That's been the case here."

Rose looked to be comfortable for much of the round but then saw his swing fall apart on the back nine. An awful second short at the par-five 12th did not prevent him making a birdie, but the swing flaw persisted - with pushed iron shots at 13, 14 and 17 all costing the Englishman dropped shots.

He ultimately finished where he started, at nine-under, after a round of 72 - alongside Rickie Fowler (67) and John Huh (71).

A shot further back, a round of 66 thrust Thorbjorn Olesen into contention at eight-under, alongside Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Jimmy Walker

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.