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Arnold Palmer Invitational tougher than expected

Arnold Palmer Invitational tougher than expected
Rory McIlroy During the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational First Round Groupings at Bay HIll Club Lodge in Orlando Florida on Thursday March 5, 2020. Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis

One thing that people don’t realize is that Orlando, FL has winter too. Contrary to popular opinion, it’s not all sunshine and days at the beach down here. Because of one of those Florida winter cold fronts, the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational has proven to be a tougher play than most of the golfer’s expected.

The low temps hit on Friday and Saturday, with play effected by high winds and dipping temperatures. On Saturday, temps dipped into the 40’s and the greens got firmer and putt speeds increased.

Arnold Palmer Invitational tougher than expected
Brooks Koepka During the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational First Round Groupings at Bay HIll Club Lodge in Orlando Florida on Thursday March 5, 2020. Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis

Case in point was Brooks Koepka, who scored a career-worst 81 on Saturday, ensuring him an early Sunday tee time. He will be looking to find something to build on as a busy schedule continues. Koepka, has struggled since returning from a knee issue.

Going into the fourth round of play, Tyrell Hatton leads the field with a +1 73 on the Saturday and still holds on to the top spot at -6. Marc Leishman and the number 1 ranked Rory McIlroy are 2 strokes behind at -4.

Arnold Palmer Invitational tougher than expected
Rory McIlroy During the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational First Round Groupings at Bay HIll Club Lodge in Orlando Florida on Thursday March 5, 2020. Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis

McIlroy opened the tournament with a -6 66, but on Friday and Saturday managed a +1 73 on both days.

Notables scores through 3 include Ricky Fowler (T23, +2), Patrick Reed (T36, +4), Brooks Koepka (T64, +10). Lee Westwood, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, and bubba Watson are some of the notables that didn’t make the weekend cut.

No players are under 70 as the scoring average inched close to 76 (75.913), and nobody shot a round in the 60s — a first on the PGA Tour since the second round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral in 2014.

Arnold Palmer Invitational tougher than expected
Jason Day During the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational First Round Groupings at Bay HIll Club Lodge in Orlando Florida on Thursday March 5, 2020. Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis

2019 tournament winner Francesco Molinari withdrew after practicing before the first round with a back injury. Jason Day also dropped out after Friday’s play because of back issues.

Play resumes on Sunday with Rory McIlroy and Christiaan Bezuidenhout of South Africa teeing off at 1:30 pm.

Tyrell Hatton and Marc Leishman tee off at 1:40 pm.


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