Rory McIlroy closes in on leader Kevin Kisner at Arnold Palmer invitational

Rory McIlroy remained in contention for a first win of the season as the Arnold Palmer Invitational headed towards an exciting climax at Bay Hill.

McIlroy began the final round five shots off the lead shared by Americans Kevin Kisner and Charley Hoffman, but had reduced his deficit to three following an eventful front nine.

The world number three, who had surged through the field thanks to a flawless 65 on Saturday, made the ideal start with a birdie from six feet on the first, but bogeyed the third after finding a water hazard with his approach.

Making just his third start of 2017 due to a rib injury, McIlroy bounced back with a birdie on the fourth and picked up another shot on the sixth, only to bogey the next after failing to get up and down from short of the green.

However, the four-time major winner then produced brilliant approaches to the ninth and 10th to leave tap-in birdies and improve to nine under par.

That was good enough for a share of second place with Hoffman, Marc Leishman and Adam Hadwin, the quartet trailing Kisner by three shots after the world number 46 followed birdies on the fourth and seventh with a bogey on the eighth.

Hoffman had also birdied the fourth but then bogeyed three of the next four holes and was lucky it was not even worse after being allowed to drop on the edge of the green after hitting his approach to the eighth into the water.

England's Tyrrell Hatton and Matt Fitzpatrick had started the day in a tie for third place, but had fallen to seven and six under par respectively at the turn.

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