Published: Sun, March 10, 2019
Sports | By Angie Alvarado

Cabrera Bello avoids water to set pace with 65 at Bay Hill

Cabrera Bello avoids water to set pace with 65 at Bay Hill

Cabrera Bello opened with four birdies in six holes in the morning chill, and he put together another run of birdies on the front nine that included consecutive putts from the 30-foot range.

Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, and Brooks Koepka will headline the star-studded field at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at the famed Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando this week to pay tribute to the late golf legend.

Day, 31, a 12-time PGA Tour victor who won the Arnold Palmer tournament at Bay Hill in 2016, had not played since tying for fourth at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am last month and told the PGA Tour that his back had been bothering him over the past week. "I haven't hit some of the shots I hit today in a long time".

On hole No 1 his wayward tee shot left to the dirt resulted in a penalty stroke, and then his re-take went to a bunker, before he eventually holed the par-four in seven.

"It's a penalizing course if you don't hit very good shots, and I hit some bad shots today", Mickelson said.

Former world No.1 and 2016 victor at Bay Hill, Day walked off after just six holes before revealing he had an MRI on Monday that indicated an annular tear in his L4/L5 disc.

British Open champion Francesco Molinari made one of two aces on the day - the other belonged to D.A. Points - and was among those at 69.

Top-ranked Canadian Adam Hadwin shot two-under 70 and is in a group tied for 14th.

"I wouldn't say I'm thrilled with two under, but it was pretty good considering; I probably got the best score out of my performance", Leishman told AAP.

"I (aggravated) it last Sunday and then got an MRI Monday, which came back that I had an annular tear in my disc, and then I've got facet problems as well", Day told

Saunders had a 73 and was along for the ride with Cabrera Bello, who capped off his round with a 10-foot par putt.

World number 34 Cabrera Bello, a three-times victor on the European Tour, is seeking his first victory on the PGA Tour.

The 2017 Palmer event victor rinsed his tee-shot at Bay Hill's par-5 sixth, but was unaware it had not crossed the water hazard until he was halfway up the fairway. "But, listen, I'm focusing really on the big picture right now".

"I'd forgotten about that", Baddeley said of the potential Open exemption.

"Any time you can shoot under par on this golf course, the rough is up, the greens are going to get tougher and tougher", Watson said after shooting 68.

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