ORLANDO, Fla. — With the morning wave facing windy and cold conditions, but the course drying out before the afternoon groups, it promises to be an interesting day near the top of the leaderboard at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
As players making a move come off the course, we’ll get you sound bites as they react to their rounds:
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Phil Mickelson (1-over 73)
Back-to-back bogeys to end his round – both on three-putts – caused Lefty to sit eight shots off the lead heading into the second round. Mickelson had four birdies and an eagle, only to see seven bogeys ruin his round.
Here’s what he had to say after his round:
“Three-putting 17 and 18 just feels terrible walking off the course. But I hit it terrible today. I felt terrible with swinging the club. I didn’t know which way I was going to miss it. And that’s not a good feeling. So to get in at 1 over, I thought anything par or better would be a pretty good score. I’ll have to make some adjustments heading into tomorrow.”
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John Huh (5-under 67)
The reigning Rookie of the Year had six birdies – with his lone bogey spoiling his final hole of the day, the par-4 9th. Huh had missed the cut in four of his eight events this season, with only one top-25 finish to show for it.
“Probably the good excuse would be changing equipment was a little . . . it was a hard time for me. But it wasn’t just the driver, it was the shaft, trying to find a good driver for me. But I found it about Honda, starting that week, and I think that’s where I got the game all together now and feel like I’m hitting pretty good shots.”
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Justin Rose (7-under 65)
Rose’s personal-best round at Bay Hill was basically because of one stick in his bag: His flatstick. He had only 25 putts after hitting 13 greens in regulation. His 65 came with a bogey on the par-4 11th (he started on No. 10), but had no blemishes on his card after that.
“Any time you go low at Bay Hill, it’s a bonus. I think starting out this morning, the first five, six, seven, eight holes felt a grind. I mean, it was cold, it was windy, and the rough was thick. So it was definitely a golf course today that you had to go out and play well. You couldn’t fake the round. You know, not everything was perfect today, I’ve got to say, but the putter was really, really hot. And those are fun day when’s that happens.”
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John Rollins (4-under 68)
Nearly had a clean scorecard until a bogey at the par-5 6th hole. Rollins had five birdies and held the lead after his birdie at the par-4 5th. Rollins has missed only one cut in 2013 (Puerto Rico) and has four top-25 performances in seven starts.
“I think I was just really calm out there and just really committed to what I was doing and didn’t really try to ‑‑ it’s not a golf course you can overpower, so I wasn’t attacking a lot of flags. I just sort of let the round evolve and hit it in the right places a lot of times and managed to make some putts.”
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Tiger Woods (3-under 69)
The defending champion started on the back nine and jumped into the lead with an eagle at No. 16, but went bogey-bogey to close his first nine holes at 1 under. He played the front nine at 2 under to salvage a round that could have been much worse. He was 5 under on the par-5s on Thursday.
“I took care of the par‑5s. I didn’t birdie them the way I’d like to. Except for the eagle on 16, the other ones were not very good shots. Hitting it up on the green and making a putt. I did all right on the par‑5s. I played them 5 under. Also made a few other mistakes out there as well.”
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Ryo Ishikawa (3-under 69)
Ishikawa had an up-and-down day, picking up three bogeys and six birdies en route to finishing the morning wave T-4. Of those six birdies, only two came on par-5s. Ishikawa has made only two cuts this season and made only $26,287 in seven starts.
“I’ll take that result today with the windy conditions and unusual direction from the wind, so it was pretty tough conditions out there.”
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Charley Hoffman (3-under 69)
Hoffman was 1 over through four holes, but six birdies and two bogeys coming in pushed the American into the top page on the leaderboard (T-4 as of early afternoon). Hoffman has made five starts this season, with a T-10 at the Humana his best finish.
“(On) 18, I got 200 yards into the hole and a 4‑iron into the wind, so pretty happy with 18. Obviously, that’s a tough shot. I hit a lot of good shots where I was looking today. Didn’t really make a ton of mistakes and made some good birdies.”