Stenson shares lead with DeChambeau at Bay Hill

Doug Mendoza
March 18, 2018

DeChambeau's round included six birdies, two bogeys and an eagle at the par-5 16 hole after hitting his second shot to just 7 feet.

Stenson and DeChambeau were at 11-under 133, two shots clear of PGA Tour rookie Talor Gooch (70).

"I can't really ask for much more". I definitely don't feel like I've gone stale or in any way frustrated or feel like it's tedious playing all these weeks in a row. And then his round almost got away from him on the par-5 16th when he chunked a shot from the fairway bunker, pitched some 70 feet beyond the hole and had to make an 8-footer for par. Stenson shot 3-under 69 and has turned things around quickly after a missed cut last week at the Valspar Championship, where he played with Tiger Woods in Rounds 1 and 2.

"They were so young when I was playing well that they don't remember any of it", Woods said.

Just behind Stenson, Rory McIlroy (-10) and Justin Rose (-9) are ready to pounce. On the par-5 16th, with his ball just below the fairway bunker lip, he decided against laying up, then flew his shot over trees and water to find the green, later two-putting for another birdie.

After curving in a 38-foot putt at the third, Woods sank a five-foot birdie putt at the par-5 fourth and, after a par save from a greenside bunker at five, sank a 15-foot putt at the sixth.

Woods played in the afternoon and went through the front nine with no birdies and two bogeys, dropping him nine shots behind.

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Stenson settled down from there and ran off three straight birdies, two from close range, the last one from 20 feet on the fringe. "But I'm in a better position this Friday than I was last Friday, so I'll take anything I can get".

"I made some great par putts and a bunker up-and-down, so that was really key today to keep the round going", Stenson said.

Woods played a fantastic round of golf on Thursday, opening the tournament with a 4-under 68 that left him tied for second at the end of the day.

"Today was just a bad day", he said.

Woods, a 14-time major victor, again showed solid form with the Masters looming in three weeks, firing a three-under par 69 to stand on 209 through 54 holes at the Orlando layout where he has captured eight career titles.

Woods trailed after 36 holes in four of his eight victories at Bay Hill, including a seven-shot deficit in 2008.

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