Fitzpatrick has only dropped three shots during the first three rounds at Bay HillArnold Palmer Invitational third-round leaderboard-9 M Fitzpatrick (Eng); -8 R McIlroy (NI); -7 A Baddeley (Aus), M Wallace (K), K Kisner (USA); -6 C Kirk (USA), L-list (US), C Howell (USA), R Cabrera Bello (Spa), K Bradley (United States) Other selected: -5 T Hatton (Eng); -4 G McDowell (NI); -2 I Poulter (Eng); +2 J Rose
The Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick produced a bogey-free five under 67 to take a one-shot lead over the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando after the third round.
The world number 44, looking for his first PGA title, five little birds made to reach nine below on Bay Hill.
Rory McIlroy, seven o'clock back, had seven birdies in a 66 and is second.
Joint second round leaders Tommy Fleetwood and Keegan Bradley had started with four shots off the field, but Fleetwood returned 76 and Bradley 75.
When the job dried, the putting surfaces became dangerous fast and hard to hold, where Fleetwood took four photos from the right side of the 10th green for a double bogey and eventually made only one birdie.
Bradley, who bogey his first three holes, performed a long putt on the last for a 75 and is three behind.
The challenge came from Fitzpatrick, the 24-year-old from Sheffield, who joined McIlroy at the age of eight after his fourth birdie of the day on the 15th.
He took the outright lead at the next hole with a crane on the par-five and then saved par from a dangerous position in the sand on the 17th.
In the sand again on the last left of the green he played quietly up to three feet and secured.
"It was a great day," said Fitzpatrick, who won five times in the European Tour and won three out of four when he led after 54 holes.
"Everything can happen tomorrow, I can shoot 80 or 65, but I have really worked through the winter so hopefully a good lap and we will see."
World number six McIlroy pierced from 26 feet for a birdie at the fifth and then played down to centimeters from the cup from a down hill lie in the bunker for another in the next.
He took two to escape from the sand for his only dropped shot of the round on the eighth, but threw in a foot with his 161-yard approach on the 15th and finished with another birdie after pitching within 10 feet of 150 yards on the last one.
The Northern Irishman, who finished second behind Dustin Johnson last month at the WCC Mexico Championship, has finished in the top five in his last four PGA Tour events.
Fitzpatrick's playing partner, co-Englishman Matt Wallace, played a number of impressive putts, making him save par from the edge of green on the 17th and making five birdies in a 69 to take part to a share of the third on seven below.
Tyrrell Hatton rolled into a pit of more than 27 feet by the second, one of the seven birdies for the world number 33 in a 66 that brought him to five, while world number two Justin Rose a far two is over after sending two balls into the water and taking a threefold bogey eight in his 77.