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Golf: Rory McIlroy makes move at Arnold Palmer Invitational

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Rory McIlroy (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

Rory McIlroy (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

Rory McIlroy made a charge into contention but Charley Hoffman closed with a 70-foot birdie putt to match Kevin Kisner for the lead after Saturday’s third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Hoffman curled in the shot of the tournament at the US PGA event on Orlando’s famed Bay Hill course to cap a closing run of three consecutive birdies to join his US compatriot on 11-under 205 through 54 holes.

McIlroy, preparing his bid for a Masters win next month that would give him a career Grand Slam, fired a seven-under par 65 to stand on 210 in a share of eighth after a 74-71 start to the week. And it was a good sign as he looks toward a possible fifth major title and quest for a first green jacket in just three weeks at Augusta National.

After short birdie putts at the par-5 fourth and sixth holes, McIlroy roared into the hunt with three consecutive birdies to begin the back nine, the last of them a 20-footer at the par-5 12th.

World number three McIlroy closed his bogey-free round with a 15-foot birdie putt at 17 and a 12-foot birdie putt at 18. Warmer and calmer conditions compared to the first two days helped McIlroy go low. (AFP)

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