Emiliano Grillo and Matthew Fitzpatrick fired matching 5-under 67s during the opening round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and co-lead through 18 holes at Bay Hill. The trio of Lucas Glover, Paul Casey, and Charley Hoffman are tied for the third spot at 4-under, and round out the top-5. Defending champ, Jason Day, is just three shots back at -2.
- Emiliano Grillo had quite the turnaround. After four holes, the 24-year-old Argentinian was at 2-over. But then carded 7 birdies over the next 13 holes to finish on top of the board.
- Old friend Greg Chalmers had himself a nice opening round at Bay Hill. The 43-year-old Aussie, who finally broke through last season with a win at the Barracuda, has struggled to start the new season (T62, T50, CUT, 28, CUT, CUT, CUT, CUT, CUT, T57, CUT). But on Thursday, Chalmers was solid all around, dropping four birdies against a lone bogey to end the day at -3 and tied for 6th place.
- World No 2 Jason Day was the best of the “best.” Of the players ranked inside the world top-10, only Day ended the day in the red (-2). Despite struggling with his accuracy (57% DRV ACC, 55% GIR), the 29-year-old was consistent on the greens, draining several clutch putts.
- Si Woo Kim had an up and down round, dropping four birdies against three bogeys. The 21-year-old Kim will take it, though, considering his rounds lately haven’t had too many ups. The young Korean star has struggled badly this season, missing the weekend in eight of 12 starts.
- Bubba Watson is at even-par which is a good sign for the two-time Masters champ. The 38-year-old Watson has had a horrific start to the new season, missing the weekend in three of his 6 starts, with his best finish a T25 at the SBS back in early January. Watson had 4 birdies (3 of them coming on par-5s) against 4 bogeys.
- Sam Saunders, grandson of Arnold Palmer, is a player many fans are rooting for this weekend. And it appeared the 29-year-old, 431st ranked player in the world, was making for a nice opening-round storyline. The Clemson grad was at even-par, and inside the top-25, as he headed to the 18th tee. But after an errant second shot, and 1-stroke penalty, the storyline sort of crumbled. Saunders double bogeyed the final hole, and ended the day at +2 and T58.
Round One Leaderboard
|T8||Harold Varner, III||-2|
|T20||Si Woo Kim||-1|
|T28||Charles Howell III||E|
|T75||Cheng Tsung Pan||3|
|T75||Billy Hurley III||3|