A week after missing the cut at the Valspar Championship, Henrik Stenson opened the Arnold Palmer Invitational with an 8-under 64, his low round in 10 starts at Bay Hill. He has previously shot 66 on three occasions at Bay Hill, both years he finished in the top three.
Stenson’s 8-under 64 is the lowest opening round at Bay Hill since Adam Scott’s 62 in 2014.
The “Iceman’s” hot putter needed just twenty putts to complete his round, tied for his fewest putts in a round. He missed only one fairway and hit 12 of 18 greens in regulation.
When asked if it was a key to come out with a low score Thursday after a MC last week Stenson said,” Yeah, on the putter said certainly. Long game I’ve been having to work on quite a lot over a period of time, so, yeah, I wouldn’t say my confidence is sky high, but I made a lot of good swings out there, a lot of committed swings and that’s going to be the key for throughout the rest of this week to keep on working along those lines. And if I can keep the putter going, then I hope I can continue that flow of birdies.”
Between 2013 and 2016, Stenson finished in the top eight at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, highlighted by a runner-up in 2015 and T3 in 2016 T3. He missed the cut in 2017.
Stenson made nine birdies, his most in a round on TOUR. He birdied five in a row (Nos. 9-13), tying his best birdie streak on TOUR (2007 Wells Fargo Championship/R3). A week ago, Stenson made just one birdie when he missed the cut at Valspar.
Making his first start in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, PGA TOUR rookie Aaron Wise recorded six birdies and an eagle for a 7under 65, one behind Henrik Stenson.
PGA TOUR rookie Talor Gooch fired a bogey-free 7-under 65, tying his career-best low round on TOUR. His 7-under 65 comes in his tournament debut.
The Oklahoma State University grad secured his TOUR card with a sixth-place finish on the Web.com Tour Regular Season money list thanks to his win at the 2017 News Sentinel Open presented by Pilot in Knoxville, Tennessee.
In his 18th career start in the Arnold Palmer Invitational and first since 2013, Tiger Woods made six birdies and one double bogey to open with a 68. Woods is a combined 112-under par at the tournament, 34 strokes better than the next best player, Vijay Singh (78-under par).
The “Tiger roar’ could be heard all over Orlando as Woods holed from 71’3” for birdie on the seventh hole. Woods made 63’5” of putts when on the green Thursday.
Until his 12th hole of the day where he made a double bogey-6, Woods had played a stretch of 25 holes without a bogey, dating to the final round of last week’s Valspar Championship, where he finished T2.
Rory McIlory was on his way to a bogey-free round before taking a provisional on the 18th resulting in a double bogey-6. McIlroy posted a 3-under 69, his first under-par round in his last seven rounds on TOUR (The Honda Classic/T59, Valspar Championship/MC).
Bogey free rounds: R1 – Rickie Fowler (67), Talor Gooch (65), Brian Harman (68), Billy Horschel (68).
Click for second round tee times and pairings.