Stenson’s 64 leads at Bay Hill; Tiger shoots 68

With the attention again on Tiger Woods, Henrik Stenson shot to the top of the leaderboard in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, with Woods four shots behind.

The 41-year-old Swede carded an 8-under-par 64 in the first round to take a one-stroke lead over Aaron Wise of Lake Elsinore and Talor Gooch at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Fla.

“I hit some lovely shots out there,” said Stenson, a six-time winner on the PGA Tour who made six birdies in a span of seven holes on the back nine. “I did some work on my putting recently and rolled a few in. The greens were running great.

“I’m very pleased with that round and know it’s hard to follow a good day like that with another one. After a 64 today, it’s going to take some more good golf to keep it going. It’s a quick turn-around because we will be playing in the morning and I just hope it’s not as cold as today, but I’ll be out there fighting.”

Wise, 21, who captured the 2016 NCAA individual title while helping Oregon win the team championship, collected five birdies on the front nine and had a tap-in eagle at No. 16 in a 65, which Gooch matched with a bogey-free round.

Seventh-ranked Rickie Fowler of Murrieta recorded a bogey-free 67 and is tied for fourth with Bryson DeChambeau of Clovis, who birdied three of his last four holes, and Jimmy Walker, who holed his last shot of the day from 132 yards for an eagle at No. 18.

Woods, who has won a record eight times at Bay Hill, bounced back from a double-bogey 6 when his drive stopped barely out of bounds on the third hole and had three birdies on each nine in a 68 to tie for seventh with Patrick Reed, Byeong Hun An of South Korea, Billy Horschel, Brian Harman and J.B. Holmes.

“That ball was only about 3-4 inches out of bounds, but it was nice to come right back with a birdie on the next hole,” said Woods, continuing his comeback from a fourth back surgery after tying for second last week in the Valspar Championship.

“Then I made another birdie on the sixth hole and sank a bomb (from 71 feet) on 7. That felt good. We’ve got three more days here and I hope to cap it off with a nice win.”

Fifth-ranked Justin Rose shot 69 and is in a tie for 13th that includes 13th-ranked Rory McIlroy and two-time Arnold Palmer Invitational champion Ernie Els of South Africa.

Defending champion Marc Leishman of Australia totaled 70 and is in a tie for 22nd that includes sixth-ranked Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, while 10th-ranked Jason Day of Australia, who won the tournament in 2016, is tied for 69th at 73.

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