• Arnold Palmer Invitational, Round One

Woods well placed despite troubles

ESPN staff
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Arnold Palmer Invitational Leaderboard

Defending champion Tiger Woods was unable to maintain his solid start to the Arnold Palmer Invitational after briefly leading the standings at Bay Hill.

Teeing off on the back nine, Woods, searching for an eighth victory in the event which would tie him with Sam Snead, topped the leaderboard after making an eagle on the 16th hole.

However, despite landing birdies the 37-year-old American began to slide, and with it could not build on his decent score on the first nine, finishing on three-under-par for the day and four shots off leader Justin Rose, with the Englishman firing in an opening round of 65 to top the standings after collecting six birdies and an eagle.

Woods began solidly with two pars in his first two holes before landing a birdie on the 12th, despite pulling his shot a long way to the left.

And then he briefly led when slotting an eagle on the 16th to go three-under-par. But then back-to-back bogeys on the 17th and 18th, where he found the bunker and the rough, saw him lose top spot on the leaderboard.

With several birdie attempts throughout the day, Woods finally doubled his tally to two when putting from 11 feet to make the fourth hole.

That was the start of a good run of form for the American as two more birdies followed, making it three in a row after nailing 18 and nine-foot putts on the fifth and sixth holes.

Victory for Woods would see him return to world No. 1 for the first time since October 2010, but those thoughts were not on his mind as a third bogey of the round came. Woods found the right front green side bunker on the seventh but managed to recover the situation in the following hole by landing par.

Lee Westwood ended round one tied for tenth on one-under, with Ian Poulter failing to make an impression as he lies in joint-25th along with Graeme McDowell.

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