Kevin Kisner beats Arnold Palmer big names at their own game


It was quite a wild ride, even by Orlando's standards.

Charley Hoffman, who shares the 54-hole lead with Kevin Kisner (68), gave the third round a stunning conclusion.

Sam Saunders doesn't want to trade on his grandfather's name, but it was hard for Arnold Palmer's grandson to not live directly in the spotlight this week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

"He was what we all wanted to be, a favorite of the fans", Hoffman said. McIlroy, with four major championships already on his resume at 27, remains the most likely to do it but Fowler has always been a favorite of young fans more for his multi-hued and often electric-colored clothing than for winning. "To keep his legacy going and win his event would be something special".

Young Englishmen Tyrrell Hatton and Matthew Fitzpatrick remained in contention tied for third at 8 under.

Ariya and Chun both shot eight-under 64 at the Desert Ridge Course in searing 32 deg C heat for a five-way tie for first with Americans Katie Burnett, Sandra Changkija and Stacy Lewis.

Rickie Fowler also shot seven-under to get to five-under for the tournament, the same number that Justin Rose sits at as well. McIlroy's one regret is not getting a chance to see Palmer on the 18th green.

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Fowler had a double bogey on No. 3, but he followed that up with three consecutive birdies, four more on the back nine, and an eagle on the sixteenth, racing up 47 spots himself. His chip onto the putting surface was lovely and left him only four feet for par, which he made to get into the clubhouse at 11-under with a one-stroke lead over Kisner.

"If I did win I sure wish he was here to have a drink with him afterwards, that's for sure", Kisner said of Palmer. And I just played better.

"I'll probably move over next year to be honest because that's where I want to be in the long run", said Fitzpatrick, who laughs off the occasional problem caused by his youthful appearance. Instead of getting a blue blazer, the victor now will get a red cardigan, like the King once wore.

"I'm not a cardigan guy".

"Hopefully I can be in with a shout and then if I get off to a fast start tomorrow, I can be right in there".

Following a second-round 66 for a one-shot lead on Emiliano Grillo, Hoffman found bunkers to bogey the first two holes.

The bogey bug struck again on the fifth, however, before things took a significant turn for the worse on the fateful sixth hole.