It is tough to imagine the Tower of Terror is a precursor to glory, not to mention influential within the very equal. Rory McIlroy, seeking to successfully guard a title for the first time in his professional profession, hopes precisely that will prove the situation on Sunday.

McIlroy will take to day four at the Arnold Palmer Invitational inside the very last group. He trails Matt Fitzpatrick with the aid of a stroke as 9 below par performs 8 beneath par thru fifty-four holes.

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Twelve months in the past, McIlroy and his wife, Erica, visited Disney World. There changed into, then, a technique in his return to the theme park after his second spherical at Bay Hill. Plus, it appears, an element of “while in Rome.” The 29-yr-vintage recognized the Tower of Terror, described as a “haunted, elevator-fashion raise” as his preferred this time. He hopes the frights give up there.

“I suppose if you come to Orlando and you don’t visit the parks you’re sort of missing out on something,” McIlroy introduced. “Erica told me last yr the most effective motive I received this event is because we went to the Magic Kingdom on Friday. So I thought: ‘Let’s cross again to Disney and have an excellent time once more.’ It’s high-quality to do it every now and then.”

The equal applies to triumph, useless to say. McIlroy’s Saturday 66 became his lowest spherical thus far and, unsurprisingly, featured his exceptional golfing. The spotlight of successive nines of 33 changed into a one hundred sixty-backyard technique to the fifteenth, which finished just a foot from the hole.

“This is what I’ve been running on; the consistency in my recreation, consistency in my attitude, my wondering, now not getting in advance of myself, staying patient,” McIlroy said. “I think by using doing that I’ll discover myself in this position extra frequently, although I don’t have my great stuff obtainable. It changed into a touch scrappy Thursday and Friday however sincerely felt loads higher these days. Hopefully, I can continue and bring that into the following day as well. It’s an important opportunity the next day to do something I’ve by no means executed before. So that’s thrilling.”

Fitzpatrick’s 67 protected a few amazing scrambling, including par-saves from bunkers at the final holes, throughout the most testing of the day-3 situations. The Yorkshireman has no longer received in this side of the Atlantic but his fashioned nature way be will not be overawed by way of McIlroy’s presence. This promises to be interesting warfare between players of contrasting styles. Fitzpatrick fired a Saturday night time warning, announcing how tons he enjoys this venue.

“I know how the fans feel approximately Rory over right here and as high-quality as I can simply try to take it as a type of pleasant sport of golfing if you could,” Fitzpatrick stated. “There’s no point in seeking to hit it past him or trying to do something like Rory. We’ve both got strengths, and both got weaknesses, and that’s why we guidance to try to get higher.

“I’m a bit fortunate, I’ve rented an area in Jupiter for a little bit and emerge as in all likelihood a little bit close with Rory, just hitting balls along him and turning into a chunk extra friendly. I suppose that having that, I realize what it’s like, I’ve performed with him earlier than.”

The leaderboard is so splendidly congested that it might be unwise to cut price up to 30 gamers. Aaron Baddeley, Matt Wallace, and Kevin Kisner are seven under. Rafa Cabrera Bello – at minus six – plus Tyrrell Hatton and Martin Kaymer, who’s each five under, also add European flavor to the scene. Graeme McDowell’s sixty-nine and 4-underneath general mean the potentialities of his claiming a berth on the Open in his native Portrush from this occasion stay live.

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