Stenson extends into lead after 66 at API

Third Round –PGA Tour – Arnold Palmer Invitational – Bay Hill Lodge and Golf Club – Orlando, Florida–

Trailing by three shots heading into the weekend, Henrik Stenson stepped up the pressure on 36-hole leader Morgan Hoffmann Saturday at Bay Hill.

Stenson fired his second straight 6-under-66 to overtake the lead and reach 16-under overall. Stenson, No. 3 in the Official World Golf Ranking, is two shot clear of Hoffmann, looking for his maiden PGA Tour triumph.

Stenson, who finished T-8 and T-5 here in the last two seasons, nearly won last week as he ended up a shot outside of the playoff at the Valspar Championship. He was in the mix through 36 holes at the WGC-Cadillac Championship. He has nine European Tour titles and four PGA Tour wins.

As a 9-to-1 betting pick at, Stenson has compiled a ball-striking line of accolades including second in Strokes-Gained Putting, T-5 in Fairways in Regulation and T-7 for Greens In Regulation. His bogey-free 66 Saturday included a late push shooting 4-under over his last four holes.

Defending champion Matt Every is part of a group at T-3 sitting three back at 10-under.

Matt Jones, Jason Kokrak and Ben Martin, a champion in Las Vegas last fall, are tied with Every. Kokrak posted 7-under-65 on Moving Day.

At T-12 features World No. 1 Rory McIlroy, Keegan Bradley and Louis Oosthuizen. Rory was in the mix until three straight bogeys in the middle of his third round.

Other Golf news:

  • Stacy Lewis (14-under) has six birdies against a lone bogey thus far in round three action at the LPGA Tour’s JTBC Founders Cup in Phoenix. Lewis has a couple of holes to play and sits tied at the top of the board with Hyo-Joo Kim. Alison Lee shot 9-under-63 to race up the board. She is T-3 at the moment. Amy Yang and Lydia Ko are part of a group three back with holes to finish.
  • Marco Dawson (10-under) leads the Champions Tour’s Tucson Classic by a shot with 18 holes to play. He leads Bart Bryant and Wes Short Jr., who won a title last September in Canada on the Champions Tour. Dawson was a 28-1 betting pick heading into the week.
  • Lewis, No. 3 in the Rolex Rankings behind Ko and Inbee Park, is searching for her first victory of the 2015 season.