Matt Fitzpatrick, Emiliano Grillo co-lead at Arnold Palmer Invitational

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Matt Fitzpatrick, Emiliano Grillo co-lead at Arnold Palmer Invitational

PGA Tour

Matt Fitzpatrick, Emiliano Grillo co-lead at Arnold Palmer Invitational

Here is a recap of Thursday’s first round of the 2017 Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club & Lodge:

Leaderboard

LEADING: Matt Fitzpatrick and Emiliano Grillo posted 5-under 67s on opposite ends of the day to grab the early co-lead at the Bay Hill Invitational. Grillo actually had an early three-shot lead as he posted the morning’s best round by three shots. Fitzpatrick matched him with a bogey-free afternoon. Fitzpatrick, 22, is a three-time European Tour winner but lacks a PGA Tour win to this point. Grillo, 24, earned his maiden (and still only) PGA Tour victory at the 2015 Safeway Open. Since the calendar turned to 2017, though, he has yet to finish in the top 30 in five PGA Tour starts.

CHASING: The leaderboard is packed behind that pair. Three players are tied for third at 4 under, with two more locked in at 3 under. A whopping 12 players are tied for eighth at 2 under. The closest pursuers at 4 under are Lucas Glover, Paul Casey and Charley Hoffman.

SHOT OF THE DAY: This is the first Arnold Palmer Invitational without Arnold Palmer. But it still felt like he was there Thursday.

That’s because Sam Saunders, Palmer’s grandson, nearly made a hole-in-one at Bay Hill’s par-3 17th. So cool. (Saunders would shoot 74 to sit T-58.)

QUOTABLE: “(Getting my PGA Tour card) is really important for me. It’s something that really you’re aiming for a win over here would be fantastic and I’m just trying to get my card right now and obviously that’s significant.” – Matt Fitzpatrick, who currently lacks a PGA Tour card for 2016-17 and beyond

CHIP SHOTS:  There were 27 players that broke par on Day 1. … Defending champion Jason Day was one of those at 2 under, tying for the second-best round in the morning wave. … Ryan Ruffels, the 18-year-old Aussie phenom finding his way back, opened in 3-under 69 to put himself T-6 through 18 holes. … Rory McIlroy opened proceedings in 2-over 74 to sit T-58 after 18 holes. He’s joined at that number by Rickie Fowler. … Matthias Schwab, one of two amateurs in the field and Vanderbilt’s “Stallion,” also posted at 2 over. … Tournament co-host Graeme McDowell shot 72 and sits T-28.

UP NEXT: Friday’s second round will be on Golf Channel from 2-6 p.m. ET. Follow all the action live on Golfweek.com and our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

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