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Arnold Palmer Invitational: Consistent Play Puts Rickie Fowler in Contention

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Somebody forgot to tell Rickie Fowler that the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by Mastercard was already wrapped up by Tiger Woods. Fowler is doing everything in his power to keep Woods from taking home his eighth title at the event and regaining the number one ranking in the world.

After an uninspired opening round 73, Fowler has gone 67 – 67 in his second and third round at Bay Hill to move to a tie for second with John Huh and Justin Rose at nine under par, two shots behind Woods. Fowler has able to skyrocket eight spots up the leaderboard while Huh and Rose stayed stagnant (Rose was even on the day and Huh was one under par).

It was a difficult day for the vast majority of the field to score well, as Fowler had the second lowest round of the day, behind Woods, Thorbjorn Olesen, Keegan Bradley and Matt Every who all shot 66 on Saturday.

The damp, muggy conditions did not deter Fowler, who only carded one bogey on the day, which came at the ninth hole. Fowler has had some difficult finishing out events over the last few weeks, but he is feeling better about his chances this week. “It was disappointing to play the way I did those two Sundays, but I felt really good with where I was at, putting myself in position to go win a golf tournament or have a good finish and kind of taking myself out of it,” Fowler said. “So it was a little bit of a kick in the butt to go out there and finish off tournaments. So I’m looking forward to tomorrow and seeing if we can go do that.”

Fowler’s skills can’t be questioned. If he is able to get his mind in the right place and go out and take Woods on head to head it will definitely be an impressive victory, especially coming from two shots back. If he isn’t able to pull out the win, he won’t be the first person to succumb to the pressure of playing their final round with Tiger.

Carl Conrad is the Senior Golf Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter or add him to your network on Google.