Henrik Stenson
First-Round Leaderboard
Henrik Stenson             64 (-8)
Aaron Wise                   65 (-7)
Talor Gooch                  65 (-7)
Jimmy Walker                67 (-5)
Rickie Fowler                67 (-5)
Bryson DeChambeau     67 (-5)
Henrik Stenson
A week after missing the cut at the Valspar Championship, his first start of the calendar year, Henrik Stenson opened the Arnold Palmer Invitational with an 8-under 64, his low round in 10 starts at Bay Hill. He has previously shot 66 on three occasions at Bay Hill, both years he finished in the top three.
Stenson’s 8-under 64 is the lowest opening round at Bay Hill since Adam Scott’s 62 in 2014.
This marks Stenson’s sixth first-round lead/co-lead on TOUR. He held on for the win once: the 2013 TOUR Championship.
Between 2013 and 2016, Stenson finished in the top eight at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, highlighted by a runner-up in 2015 and T3 in 2016 T3. He missed the cut in 2017.
Stenson made nine birdies, his most in a round on TOUR. He birdied five in a row (Nos. 9-13), tying his best birdie streak on TOUR (2007 Wells Fargo Championship/R3). A week ago, Stenson made just one birdie en route to his missed cut.
Stenson is one of nine Swedish players to win on the PGA TOUR. When he won last season at the Wyndham Championship, he became the most winningest Swede with six TOUR titles.
Stenson needed just 20 putts to complete his round, tied for his fewest putts in a round. He missed only one fairway and hit 12 of 18 greens in regulation.
Currently 88th in the FedExCup, Stenson is one of six past FedExCup champions in the field. He won in 2013.
Aaron Wise
Making his first start in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, PGA TOUR rookie Aaron Wise recorded six birdies and an eagle for a 7-under 65, one behind Henrik Stenson.
Wise was born in Cape Town, South Africa, but moved to the United States at age 3. Wise won the 2016 NCAA Individual title at the University of Oregon.
Wise has one top-10 on the PGA TOUR: a T10 at the 2016 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. This is Wise’s best position after any round on the PGA TOUR.
Wise earned his 2017-18 PGA TOUR Card by finishing 18th on the 2017 Web.com Tour Regular Season money list after winning the Air Capital Classic in Wichita, Kansas, setting the Web.com Tour’s all time-scoring mark for 36 holes after back-to-back rounds of 62.
Talor Gooch
PGA TOUR rookie Talor Gooch fired a bogey-free 7-under 65, tying his career-best low round on TOUR. His 7-under 65 comes in his tournament debut.
The Oklahoma State University grad secured his TOUR card with a sixth-place finish on the Web.com Tour Regular Season money list thanks to his win at the 2017 News Sentinel Open presented by Pilot in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Gooch has posted three top-25 finishes in 12 starts this season, most recently finishing T20 at the Genesis Open. He entered this week on the heels of two straight missed cuts.
Jimmy Walker
On the 18th hole at Bay Hill, Jimmy Walker holed-out for eagle from 132 yards with a wedge. It marked the first eagle at the 18th in 20 years. The finishing hole ranked as the fourth toughest 18th hole on PGA TOUR last season, playing +0.283 over par.
Last three eagles at Bay Hill No. 18
Jimmy Walker
Dan Forsman
Robert Gamez
R4 – Won
Walker is playing Bay Hill for the first time since 2013 (T8), his lone top-10 in four starts.
The six-time PGA TOUR winner earned his first top-10 on TOUR in more than a year with a T8 showing at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February.
Tiger Woods
In his 18th career start in the Arnold Palmer Invitational and first since 2013, Tiger Woods made six birdies and one double bogey to open with a 68. Woods is a combined 112-under par at the tournament, 34 strokes better than the next best player, Vijay Singh (78-under par).
In six of his eight career victories at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Woods has led the field for par-5 scoring. Most recently, he outperformed the field by 11 strokes on the par 5s in 2013. He birdied all four par 5s today, the first time he has birdied all par 5s in a round on TOUR since round two of the 2015 PLAYERS Championship (courses with four par 5s).
On the seventh hole, Woods holed from 71’3” for birdie. Woods made 63’5” of putts when on the green today.
Until his 12th hole of the day where he made a double bogey-6, Woods had played a stretch of 25 holes without a bogey, dating to the final round of last week’s Valspar Championship, where he finished T2.
Bay Hill is one of three courses Woods has eight wins, including Torrey Pines, home of the Farmers Insurance Open, and Firestone CC (South), home of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. No player in PGA TOUR history has ever recorded nine wins at one venue.
First-Round Lead Notes
Through 18 events this season, five first-round leaders/co-leaders have held on for the win, most recently Jon Rahm at the CareerBuilder Challenge.
Since 1980, the first-round leader/co-leader of the Arnold Palmer Invitational has held on for the win eight times. In 2016, Jason Day became the first to do so since 2004 (Chad Campbell).
Additional Player Notes
A week after finishing T2 at the Valspar Championship, Patrick Reed opened with a 4-under 68 and is T7. Reed is playing the Arnold Palmer Invitational for the first time since 2014. His record includes a MC in 2013 and T52 in 2014.
Rickie Fowler, who is serving on the Arnold Palmer Invitational host committee, opened with a bogey-free 67. Fowler has six previous starts at Bay Hill, including his best finish, a T3 in 2013. That year, he was paired with Tiger Woods in the final round.
Rory McIlory was on his way to a bogey-free round before taking a provisional on the 18th resulting in a double bogey-6. McIlroy posted a 3-under 69, his first under-par round in his last seven rounds on TOUR (The Honda Classic/T59, Valspar Championship/MC).
Non-member Sam Burns, who is playing on a sponsor invite, opened with a 69 (T13). Burns is in search of 88 non-member FedExCup points to secure Special Temporary Membership on the PGA TOUR. That translates to a four-way tie for sixth or better.
Miscellaneous Notes
The 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard is the 40th year at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge (53rd year of the event).
Past API Champions                R1 Score
Robert Gamez (1990)                 72 (E)
Paul Goydos (1996)                   70 (-2)
Ernie Els (1998, 2010)               69 (-3)
Tim Herron (1999)                      75 (+3)
Tiger Woods (8 times)               68 (-4)
Vijay Singh (2007)                      74 (+2)
Martin Laird (2011)                     72 (E)
Matt Every (2014, 2015)             70 (-1)
Jason Day (2016)                      73 (+1)
Marc Leishman (2017)               70 (-2)
Scoring Averages:
Front 9             Back 9             Total                Cumulative
R1        36.325              35.875              72.200              —
The par-4 18th was the hardest in round one with an average of 4.283. The easiest hole was the par-5 16th hole, which played to an average of 4.292.
Bogey-free rounds:
R1 – Rickie Fowler (67), Talor Gooch (65), Brian Harman (68), Billy Horschel (68).