Saturday, March 9th, 2019

Notable Quotes: Arnold Palmer Invitational, Sat. 3rd Round: Fitzpatrick Leads McIlroy by 1 at 9-under

NBC Sports Notable Quotes
Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard
Third Round
Bay Hill Club & Lodge
Orlando, Fla.
Saturday, March 9, 2019

Arnold Palmer Invitational Third Round Leaderboard
Matthew Fitzpatrick -9
Rory McIlroy            -8
Aaron Baddeley       -7
Kevin Kisner             -7
Matt Wallace           -7

**Live final round tournament coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. ET on Golf Channel, continuing on NBC Sports at 2:30 p.m. ET**

On Matthew Fitzpatrick, leader at 9-under par (5-under par 67 on Saturday)
Paul Azinger – “He is starting to feel things right now that he has never felt before, at least not here on the PGA TOUR.”
Azinger – “He looks young enough to be trick-or-treating still.”

Matthew Fitzpatrick speaking with NBC’s Steve Sands following his round
Matthew Fitzpatrick – “We just played really smart. I’ve been driving it really solid all week. Did the same again today. Just hit a lot of greens – or tried to anyway – you just have to play smart and stick to your targets out there. It is very fiery. The greens are really firm and it’s getting tougher.”
Fitzpatrick – “Just the positions I have been when I’ve been playing over there. I obviously have the experience winning. It is a lot different over here I feel. A lot different atmosphere. Different styles of golf courses and different fields. But it’s exciting. I put myself in a good position so I am looking forward to it.”
Fitzpatrick – “It will be great [if paired with Rory McIlroy] He is defending champion and he’s got a ton of fans over here. I’ve become good friends with him, moved down to Jupiter in the winter months and spent a good time with him there. It will be a fun day if that is the pairing.”

On Rory McIlroy, 2nd at 8-under par (6-under 66 on Saturday)
Dan Hicks – “Rory off to a roaring Saturday at Bay Hill.”

Rory McIlroy speaking with NBC’s Steve Sands following his round
Rory McIlroy – “I think this golf course has played much tougher from the very beginning of this tournament this year compared to previous years. Knowing that with the wind and the golf course is going to get firmer as the days go on. I stayed patient again yesterday. I felt like 2-under was a decent score. Anything around 2,3,4 under par starting today, you shoot a good one today like I have, you move up. It is still bunched. 2 and 3 under pars still have a chance to win the tournament.”
McIlroy – “I have been trying to play high cuts to every single pin I can look at. It is the only way I feel like I can stop the ball close to these pins.”
McIlroy – “I didn’t play this tournament starting off my career for various reasons and I would always get a letter from Arnold every year saying ‘hoping to see you at Bay Hill.’ Finally in 2015, I played here and I realized what I was missing all of those years. I got to spend some time with Arnold which was a dream come true for me. He was obviously an American icon. I didn’t know too much about him until I came over here to this country and the regard he is held in by so many people. To spend some time with him, and realize what such a great man he is, what he has done for the community here in Orlando and how many lives he has touched around the world. I think it is important for everyone to try to come here and pay tribute to one of the legends of the game.”

On Kevin Kisner, T3 at 7-under par (2-under 70 on Saturday)
Azinger – “Good solid round in tough conditions.”

On Matt Wallace, T3 at 7-under par (3-under 69 on Sunday)
David Feherty – “A lot of people expected him to be back on the European Ryder Cup side. He is showing some backbone here.”

On Saturday’s third round
Azinger – “This truly is moving day. When you are six shots out of third place making the cut on the number, everybody who made the cut knows they can run right up that leaderboard today.”
Azinger – “I think the golf course caught some of these guys by surprise on how firm these greens got.”
Feherty – “The final three pairings have had more hits than the Beatles today.”
Feherty – “Roger, do you ever feel responsible for players playing badly when you join them as a walking announcer?”
Roger Maltbie – “I’m starting to get a bit of a complex.”

-NBC Sports Group-