ORLANDO, Fla. – Sunny skies and low winds made for ideal scoring conditions during the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and the field took full advantage. Here’s how things look after the first round at Bay Hill, where Morgan Hoffmann holds a one-shot lead:
Leaderboard: Morgan Hoffmann (-6), Jason Kokrak (-5), Kevin Na (-5), Ken Duke (-5), John Peterson (-5), Ian Poulter (-5), Henrik Stenson (-4), Adam Scott (-4), Keegan Bradley (-4), Brandt Snedeker (-4)
What it means: Kokrak moved to the top of the standings early in the morning wave, but after he posted a 67, Hoffmann eclipsed him by a shot. While still in search of his first win, Hoffmann qualified for the Tour Championship a year ago and now will look to hold off a list of contenders that includes several of the world’s best players.
Round of the day: Hoffmann’s highlight came at the par-5 sixth, where he holed out for eagle, and he nearly jarred his approach at No. 9, leading to a birdie on his final hole of the day. Following the death of his grandmother overnight, he was bogey-free and had four birdies to go along with the hole-out eagle.
Best of the rest: Kokrak finished fourth here a year ago and again put his name on the leaderboard after playing his first 14 holes in 6 under. The veteran converted a 5-foot eagle putt on No. 16 and added four more birdies, making his only bogey of the day at the par-3 seventh hole.
Biggest disappointment: Robert Streb has been one of the surprise stories of this season after his win at the McGladrey Classic, but Streb appears headed for just his second cut of the season after opening with a 7-over 79. Streb made only one birdie against a pair of bogeys and three double bogeys and sits tied for last after one round.
Main storyline heading into Friday: The key to the second round will be who from the star-studded pack at 4 under will make a move on the leader: Stenson, Scott, Bradley and Snedeker, not to mention Harris English, a player gaining momentum, or defending FedEx Cup champ Billy Horschel. World No. 1 Rory McIlroy is four back after a 2-under 70.
Shot of the day: Snedeker took a bow after hitting one of the luckiest approach shots to No. 18, as his ball bounced twice off the rocks in front of the green before rolling to within five feet of the hole. He did not, however, convert the short birdie try.
Quote of the day: “It was in the leather.” – Hoffmann describing his approach to No. 9, which ended up eight inches from the hole.