ORLANDO, Fla. — Justin Rose started out as another guy in Tiger Woods’ group Thursday at Bay Hill. He wound up in the lead.
Rose put on a clinic with the putter and ran off four straight birdies late in his round of 7-under 65. That gave him a four-shot lead in the Arnold Palmer Invitational among those who played early in a chilly breeze.
Woods had two sloppy bogeys from greenside bunkers and didn’t hit it as well as he did when he won Doral two weeks ago. But he made enough key par saves and manhandled the par 5s to scratch out a 69, a reasonable start as he tries to win Bay Hill for the eighth time and return to No. 1 in the world.
It was the sixth time in 31 rounds at Bay Hill that Rose broke 70.
“If you had said I would shoot a 65 on the range this morning, I would have probably said, ‘How many holes have I played?’ And that didn’t change much,” Rose said.
The rough was thick without being terribly high.
Park shoots 66
At Carlsbad, Calif., Jane Park shot a bogey-free 6-under 66 to take the lead after the opening round of the Kia Classic.
Park, who lives in Rancho Cucamonga and went to UCLA, had a one-stroke lead over Caroline Hedwall and Karrie Webb.
Stacy Lewis, playing her first round since taking over the No. 1 spot in the world from Yani Tseng, was four shots off the lead. She is trying to win her third straight tournament.
Martin one stroke off lead
At Broussard, La., Ben Martin (Clemson) is tied for third in the Louisiana Open, one stroke behind Danny Ellis and John Peterson, who each shot 65s.
D.J. Trahan (Clemson) shot a 67 and is tied for sixth.
Thai leads stormy Malaysian Open
Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand shot a 7-under 65 to take the clubhouse lead at the Malaysian Open before thunderstorms caused the suspension of the first round.