Ahead of the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. both Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell are just four shots adrift of joint-leaders Billy Horschel and Talor Gooch,

After a opening rounds of 65 and 72, McIlory carded a disappointing round of 76 to leave him at three-under par for the tournament. A double-bogey at the 15th, after early birdies at 12 and 13, was the dark spot on the card.

And while the 32-year recovered to pick up a shot on 16, dropped shots on the final two holes offered more frustration. To be so close to the leaders at Bay Hill with a round to go was some consolation.

2010 US Open winner McDowell had a better day as his 69 moved him up the leaderboard. He carded five birdies, including one at the last. The only blemishes being dropped shots at seven and nine.

Horschel and Gooch signed for 71 and 72 respectively to leave them on -7.

Gooch fought off four bogeys en route to an even par 72 while Horschel endured three bogeys for a 1-under-par 71.


"It was a grind out there," Gooch said afterwards. "The place was playing super, super difficult. The wind was whipping, and it was changing directions.

"When you have to be as precise as you have to be on this golf course, the little wind changes make a huge difference. If you'd have told me I wasn't going to shoot over par and I didn't have to play, I would have taken it and not touched a club today."

Halfway leader Viktor Hovland suffered through six bogeys and shot 75 to fall to solo third, one shot back.

Hovland holed out a chip on the par-5 sixth for an eagle, but that was the only highlight for him after opening rounds 69-66.

"I think now it's maybe on the border where everything kind of becomes a scrambling competition. As I've said before, that's not really the strength of my game," Hovland said. "But what I think is cool at least is I'm able to bein contention in a tournament under these conditions that don't really play into my hands. I feel like I have to really be patient and miss on the right sides."