Arnold Palmer Invitational 2018

Posted March 16, 2018

Jason Day says nerves had nothing to do with his lacklustre opening round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, despite continuing his poor record of playing with Tiger Woods. I enjoy just playing again after what I've been through. After grinding it out on the front nine in the cool morning conditions, the Dubliner birdied the 10th and added further birdies on the 12th and 16th to move to two under only to bogey the 18th where his approach found a greenside bunker and he failed to get up and down.

And during his opening round at Bay Hill, updated Masters odds installed Woods as the favorite to win what would be his fifth green jacket.

2016 victor Jason Day and world No. 6 Hideki Matsuyama, back from a six-week layoff for a thumb injury, are joining Woods in the featured group of API's morning wave.

A record eight-time victor of the Palmer event, Woods sits three-under-par through nine holes and is tied atop the leaderboard with fellow American Bill Hurley.

Rory McIlroy plays his shot from the 15th tee during the first round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Florida.

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He then drained a 71-foot birdie that elicited huge roars from the gallery and a giant smile from Woods himself.

"It's a golf course that's been good to me in the past".

Tiger Woods spoke of his relief at escaping a "very hard life" of chronic back injuries and poor form as he continued the upturn in fortunes that has energised his sport. "A little extra pressure, but I feel like that's where a lot of the guys out here, the best players in the world, I feel like that's when I kind of rise to the occasion, so it was nice to rise to that, put up a good solid round today, get off to a good start". But Woods eyed the long putt and was thinking about picking up a stroke.

Even more impressive on the day was the fightback by England's Justin Rose, who had been four over par after his first six holes after a shocking triple bogey 7 on the 11th. "My body doesn't really want to do this because it's cold, but just push through it and then as soon as I get to that tee the competitive juices start flying".

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