American Rickie Fowler set himself up for his first victory in additional than a yr, grabbing a four-shot lead after the third spherical on the Honda Traditional in Florida on Saturday.
Fowler birdied two of the ultimate three holes to leap away from the sector with a bogey-free five-under-par 65 on an unusually calm day at PGA Nationwide in Palm Seashore Gardens.
He posted a 13-under 197 complete, a event file low 54-hole rating, with Englishman Tyrrell Hatton (66) the closest challenger on nine-under, and a bunch of 5 gamers six strokes again in a tie for third.
Fowler gained the European Tour’s Abu Dhabi Championship in January final yr, however has not triumphed on the PGA Tour since 2015, when he clinched his second and third profession victories.
He’s Zero-Four when holding the lead beginning the ultimate spherical on tour, although he has by no means had such a giant cushion.
“I do have loads of work to do tomorrow however a four-shot lead is sweet,” Fowler advised reporters.
“(It) can clearly go away in a short time too however while you do have that cushion it does provide the alternative to simply accept errors. If you happen to’re enjoying from three or 4 photographs behind, you possibly can’t make errors.
“I will be out entrance and in management, and with the best way I really feel concerning the recreation, the best way I have been swinging, I am wanting ahead to it.”
Fowler was not fairly firing on all cylinders early on Saturday however improved because the spherical progressed.
“I’ve hit loads of fairways proper down the center and it provides me quite a bit confidence. Tomorrow simply make sure that we settle in a little bit faster, simply belief it and have some enjoyable.”
After preferrred circumstances on Saturday, the forecast on Sunday requires a stiff breeze, which may create drama over the water-lined closing stretch.
“This course can soar up and chew you at any time so I want to stay to the sport plan,” Fowler stated.
“I really like enjoying within the wind.”
Fowler distanced himself from Hatton by sinking a ten-foot birdie putt on the par-four 16th after which selecting up one other birdie on the par-five 18th after a blistering 340-yard drive.
Hatton, who will make his Masters debut this yr, may have been nearer to the lead had he not bogeyed the penultimate gap. He additionally didn’t birdie the final.
(Reporting by Simon Evans in Miami; Enhancing by Andrew Each)