The reigning champion of the tournament, starting on the back nine, was at three under through six holes, but three bogeys down the stretch limited what could have been.
First Round Leaderboard—2013 Arnold Palmer Invitational
|T3. ||Brad Fritsch||-4|
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Woods notched a birdie on hole No. 12 and an eagle on No. 16 before registering bogeys on holes 17 and 18. After notching three consecutive birdies on holes four through six, Woods bogeyed hole No. 7 before parring his final two holes.
Will Tiger win the 2013 Arnold Palmer Invitational?
Ultimately, Tiger fared well on some of the easier holes on Thursday (the field generally scored better on holes four, five, 12 and 16, via ESPN) but struggled on the toughest hole, No. 18 (the worst combined score for the field). To his credit, he was able to par some tougher holes (one, two, three and eight).
You may remember that the seven-time Arnold Palmer Invitational champion finished with a 69 on Day 1 of the tournament last year, too. He went on to score a 13-under 275 at Bay Hill.
Justin Rose soared to the lead early in the day. The 32-year-old South African finished with a seven-under 65 on Thursday. He's never won the tournament, but he finished tied for 15th in 2012 and tied for third in 2011.
Tiger is well within range to capture his eighth career victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, just a few strokes back from the leader. He shot a 65 on Day 2 of the tournament last year and had his short game working with some nice putts on Thursday, which is clearly a good sign.
Tiger hit a 49-yard approach shot from the rough to about 30 feet away from the hole on No. 12. His ensuing putt gave him his first highlight of the day.
After an impressive 150-yard approach shot that landed 13 feet from the pin, Tiger knocked down the putt to eagle hole No. 16.
Tiger's 37-foot attempt for birdie on hole No. 8 fell just short, as he settled for par.