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Water woes continue for McIlroy as Day leads the way in Florida

The Australian has a two-shot cushion heading into the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Rory McIlroy was out of sorts at Bay Hill today.
Rory McIlroy was out of sorts at Bay Hill today.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

ANY HOPES RORY McIlroy had of getting back into contention at the Arnold Palmer Invitational were extinguished by three double bogeys in his third round today.

The Holywood golfer trailed leader Jason Day by 11 shots as the weekend play began and knew he needed to shoot low on Saturday and Sunday to have any chance of claiming a first win of the year.

The Northern Irishman started his round on the 10th and made two birdies in his first seven holes.

But a double bogey on the par-four 18th was followed by similarly disastrous scores on the third and seventh, which saw him labour to a three-over-par 75 for the day.

The 26-year-old found the water three times during his opening-round 75 and did so again on the third today, while dicing with danger at another water hazard, in around the rocks, on the 18th.

Now, McIlroy finds himself on a total of one-over-par after three rounds, 16 shots behind Day.

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Australian Day fired a two-under par 70 to maintain a two-stroke lead at Bay Hill, Florida.

Americans Troy Merritt and Kevin Chappell each fired 67s to leap into a share of second, with Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, who shot 70. Britain’s Justin Rose and American Derek Fathauer are tied for fifth two shots further back, on 11-under-par.

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