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MIAMI (AFP) – 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.
‘‘At least I’ve given myself a decent chance,’’ McIlroy said. ‘‘At least I’m in with a shout and if I get off to a fast start I can be right in there.
‘‘Hopefully the wind starts to get up and I can be somewhere close to the lead tomorrow.’’
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.