Saturday at Bay Hill: Kurt Kitayama leads but Scottie Scheffler, the defending champion, is among many chasers at Arnold Palmer Invitational

Mar, 2023

ORLANDO – Sunday will see the winner of the red alpaca sweater. This sweater is the same one Arnold Palmer wore to make him famous. The Arnold Palmer Invitational champion will be wearing a red sweater, a great choice in a sport with many green jackets, tartan and seersucker jackets.

Zach Johnson is a man who has a green jacket in his wardrobe. He may have stated it best when asked about Arnie’s sweater. “I’d turn down the A/C really low and sleep in that.”

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Heading into Bay Hill’s final round, the leaderboard is packed. Within five shots, there are 11 players, including Scottie Scheffler (defending champion), past champions Rory McIlroy, Tyrrell Hatton and Jordan Spieth; Ryder Cuppers Harris English, Viktor Hovland and Justin Thomas; major champions Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Jordan Spieth; past champions Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Jordan Spieth; and Cameron Young, the Arnold Palmer Rookie-of-the Year, Pierceson Coody, and Max Homa, who is currently the game. They are all chasing Kurt Kitayama who is aiming for his first PGA Tour title.

Kitayama held the 36-hole lead and made birdies on two of his last three holes to card an even-par 72. He is now 9 under, one stroke ahead of Scheffler (68) and Hovland (66)

“Just proud of how I fought. Katayama said that she started off solidly the first three holes, but then had a bad swing at the fourth hole and was 2-over. There is no turning back. It’s part of my nature, it seems. You can’t just pack it in, even when things are going terribly. Every shot is worth fighting for.

He made a tee shot OB right, which led to a second at No. He made his second birdie at No. 10 after hitting 12 fairways.

He said that the birdie at 24 feet was “a big putt” It helped me settle down a lot more. It felt like things could have spiraled out of control. Then, the end. Two of the three last ones. That was it.

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