Tiger Woods posted a solid three-under 69 at the Bay Hill course he's owned over the years, but he is still four back of playing partner Justin Rose.
Rose caught fire in the middle of his back nine to run off four consecutive birdies, finishing the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a seven-under 65 to own sole possession of the lead.
Take a look at the leaderboard before we break down the first round.
First Round Leaderboard—2013 Arnold Palmer Invitational
|T3. ||Brad Fritsch||-4|
View the full leaderboard on PGA.com.
Playing conditions were excellent at this Orlando, Fla., course, and the bevy of low scores certainly reflect that. I mean, Justin Rose is on pace to finish at 28-under. Woods, a seven-time winner here, won this event last year at 13-under.
Rose, along with Tiger, started off the day on the back nine.
He got off to an ominous start by bogeying his second hole. However, it was smooth sailing from there.
Rose birdied No. 13, his fourth hole, to move back to even. He then kicked his tournament into overdrive with this fabulous 179-yard approach shot and the ensuing successful eagle putt on No. 16:
Rose finished the back at three-under and then caught fire once he hit No. 4. That is when he rattled off four straight birdies. He parred every other hole on the side.
Though he was a little erratic off the tee, he made up for that with his scintillating putter work. For the day, he had a 5.9 mark in strokes gained putting.
Meanwhile, Rose wasn't the only one in his group to eagle No. 16. Tiger Woods stuck this 150-yard approach shot to set up his 13-foot eagle putt:
Of course Woods drilled the putt. He has been in a groove with the flat blade, as he set a career low in total putts for a round when he needed just 100 to win the Cadillac Invitational, and he needed only 28 on this day.
However, after Woods drilled that eagle, which dropped him to three-under, he fired consecutive bogeys.
That inconsistency kept Woods from finishing the round higher on the leaderboard. Woods caught fire with Rose as he birdied holes Nos. 4 through 6, but he couldn't get up and down on the par-three seventh and bogeyed.
In all, Woods was not striking the ball as well with his irons as he did at the Cadillac, but he wasn't far off. He hit 57 percent of his fairways and 12 of 18 greens in regulation.
With Rose and Woods teeing off early, the bar was set. While no one was able to chase down Rose, John Huh came close.
The scoring conditions were even better for the afternoon group as the slight wind died down. No one capitalized on that more than Huh—who is looking for his second-career win.
Huh, who turned pro in 2008, fired a five-under 67 to sit alone in second place. He used a fabulous short game to go low. Check out this effort from the sand on No. 5:
I would be surprised if Huh could maintain his position near the top of this leaderboard, but golf never lacks for surprises.
Meanwhile, Bill Haas drilled what had to be the shot of the day when he holed this 117-yard approach on the par-five sixth hole.
Haas finished tied with Tiger at three-under.
With a strong start to this tournament, and Tiger lurking in contention, we are headed for a fabulous tournament.