ORLANDO, Fla. — Adam Scott still had the lead at Bay Hill on Saturday. At least five other players suddenly have a realistic chance at winning.
Scott, who started the third round with a seven-shot lead, missed three par putts inside 8 feet and had to settle for a 1-under 71, which narrowed his lead to three shots over Keegan Bradley going into the final round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
The greens were firmer than ever after three days of sunshine, though the pins were accessible and allowed for good scoring. Several players took advantage. Scott did not. His score was helped by a pair of long birdie putts on the back nine.
Bradley’s approach to the 18th narrowly cleared the rocks that frame the lake, leaving him a 4-foot birdie putt for a 6-under 66. He will be paired with Scott in the final round, with much at stake for both of them.
A victory for Scott should push him to No. 1 in the world when he arrives at Augusta National to defend his title in the Masters. Bradley hasn’t won anywhere since the Bridgestone Invitational in 2012.
Scott was at 15-under 201.
Bradley isn’t the only player who now has a chance.
Matt Every (66) and Jason Kokrak (67) were four shots behind. Chesson Hadley and Francesco Molinari of Italy each had a 69 and were another shot behind. Hadley, who won the Puerto Rico Open two weeks ago, can qualify for the Masters with a high finish. He likely would need to be in sixth place or better to be solidly inside the top 50 in the world.
Scott felt comfortable with a three-shot advantage going to Sunday.
“When you’ve got the lead, you have to work for it,” he said. “I’m still in good shape.”
CHAMPIONS TOUR: Billy Andrade shot a 7-under 65 to share the lead with Fred Funk after the second round of the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic at Fallen Oak.
Andrade had the low round of the day, capping it with a 20-foot birdie putt on 18. Funk shot a 67.
The 50-year-old Andrade is playing in just his fourth Champions Tour event. His best finish was eighth place at the ACE Group Classic in February.
Fred Couples started the day with a two-stroke lead, but fell into a tie for second place after shooting a 71. Jay Haas and Jeff Maggert both had 69 to join Couples one stroke behind the leaders.
Andrade and Funk are at 8-under 136 for the tournament.
LPGA: Lydia Ko topped the crowded leaderboard in the JTBC Founders Cup in Phoenix, pulling ahead with two late birdies.
The 16-year-old New Zealander shot a 5-under 67 to reach 16-under 200 at Desert Ridge.
Jessica Korda and Mirim Lee were a stroke back, and a dozen players were within four shots. Korda had a 66, and Lee shot 70.
OBITUARY: Frank Hannigan, a former executive director of the USGA who offered blunt opinions on television and in print long after he retired, died Saturday morning in Far Hills, N.J.
The USGA did not disclose a cause of death. He was 82.