Skip to content

March 9, 2024

Scheffler, Lowry Set For Sunday Showdown at Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by Mastercard

ORLANDO, Fla. – There will be a Sunday showdown of major champions at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard.
World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, the 2022 Masters champion, made five birdies on the back nine Saturday, and Shane Lowry, winner of the 2019 Open Championship, made four as the duo each shot third-round 70s to share the lead at 9-under-par 207 heading into Sunday’s final 18 holes at Bay Hill Club & Lodge.
The two are hardly the only players in contention, however. Defending U.S. Open champion Wyndham Clark sits one stroke back, while 2021 Masters winner Hideki Matsuyama, Will Zalatoris and Russell Henley are lurking two strokes off the lead and there are 15 players within five strokes of Scheffler and Lowry. Among them are two-time major champion Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy, the 2018 API winner whose trophy case includes four pieces of major championship hardware.
“I think I’m just doing a good job of trying to stay in a good head space on the greens,” Scheffler said. “On the back nine I did a really good job of just trying to stay as much in it as I could and hit some good putts, and sometimes you really just got to get lucky.”
Lowry registered an up-and-down round that saw him shoot 37 on the front but rebound with a back-nine 33, including clutch birdies on the 16th and 17th holes. On the 16th, he chipped to inside three feet for a relatively easy birdie putt, and on the par-3 17th, he hit a perfectly paced 32-foot putt that caught the left edge of the cup for another birdie.
On a day when the wind picked up and firm, fast greens contributed to no player shooting lower than 68, he was pleased to make just enough putts to maintain at least a share of the lead for the third straight day. Only Fred Couples (1992) and Jason Day (2016) have won the Arnold Palmer Invitational in wire-to-wire fashion.
“I obviously holed a nice one on 17, but I didn’t feel that comfortable with it all day,” Lowry admitted. “It’s hard out there. You’re leaving those 25-footers for birdie, you’re just trying to get it dead, because those 4-footers on those greens are quite difficult, especially when it’s windy. I always say, when you play in windy conditions, the hardest part of it is putting. Certainly it was today. I felt like I hit a lot of good putts today, I felt like I burned the edge a lot. Then, at the end, it was just great to hole that one on 17.”
Clark posted one of the most colorful scorecards of the day, with bookend double bogeys on the front nine, followed by a birdie-birdie-eagle stretch on holes 10-12 that helped him salvage a 71 and remain in contention.
Zalatoris could have found himself sleeping on a lead or co-lead if not for a pair of double bogeys in his last four holes. McIlroy, who started the day tied for 30th, surged within striking distance by firing a 68 that saw him match the back-nine scoring record of 30. His 365-yard tee shot on the 10th hole made him the first player in the ShotLink era to drive the green, and he two-putted from 65 feet for the first of his six back-nine birdies.
“I thought if I got it in one of the two front traps that would be a good leave to hit something up to the green, but, yeah, I wasn’t trying to hit it on the green,” McIlroy said. “But it was nice to walk up and see it on there.”
While there was plenty of drama and leaderboard shuffling Saturday, things are set up for a spectacular Sunday. Scheffler and Lowry tee off in the lead group at 1:35 p.m.
Asked about his approach heading into the final round in pursuit of a second red cardigan, Scheffler said one of the keys will be not getting ahead of himself.
“It’s going to take another really good round,” he said. “The golf course is extremely challenging. Got to stay patient and grind out a lot of pars.”


Entertain at Orlando’s Signature Event.

Treat your guests to upscale food, great drinks, and air-conditioned views of the tournament action. Contact David Strahan, Director of Business Development, for all your hospitality and sponsorship needs.

Contact David: