The Associated PressORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Emiliano Grillo of Argentina recovered from a rough start in cold weather by running off seven birdies for a 5-under 67, giving him an early three-shot lead in the first Arnold Palmer Invitational without the beloved tournament host.
Multi-colored umbrellas, Palmer’s logo, were everywhere at Bay Hill on Thursday. Parkas would have been more appropriate on this day. It was 39 degrees when the first round began, the coldest start to any PGA Tour event this year — in Florida, no less.
Grillo three-putted from 25 feet on No. 3 and took a bogey from 120 yards out in the fairway on the par-5 fourth. It never got any worse.
The Argentine, often weighed down by his putting, answered with consecutive birdies. He rolled in a 50-foot birdie putt on No. 9, a 40-foot birdie putt on the par-3 17th, and ended with a par to beat his half of the draw by three shots.
“If I had my hands out of my pockets for a minute or two, I would be freezing,” Grillo said. “But I was able to keep it in the fairway mostly all day and I was able to make a few good putts on 9 and 17, and that kept me going.”
Defending champion Jason Day, Francesco Molinari, Stewart Cink and Kevin Kisner were at 70. Only five other players broke par from the morning tee times, though the temperatures warmed in the afternoon on a perfectly manicured course — particularly the greens — at Bay Hill.
Lewis shares Founders lead
PHOENIX (AP) — Stacy Lewis missed a chance to shoot the second 59 in LPGA Tour history, settling for an 8-under 64 and a share of the first-round lead Thursday in the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.
Playing in the heat in near-perfect conditions at Desert Ridge, Lewis was 9 under through 11 holes, parred the next six and closed with a bogey after hitting into the deep left greenside bunker.
“Kind of back there on the back nine the ball started going really far,” Lewis said. “Maybe some adrenaline, I’m not really sure. Or just the dry air.”