The Most Exciting Moments in the Match
Anthony Kim had the hole-in-one, Charlie Wi had the finishing flourish, and Jason Dufner was a picture of steady progress. Birdies on two of his final three holes lifted Wi’s name to the top of the Arnold Palmer Invitational leader board. He carded a 6-under 66 that gave him a two-shot advantage over his nearest pursuers as the morning groups finished at Bay Hill in Orlando, Fla. Wi had predicted his score might not hold up, and he was right, as Dufner came through with the afternoon groups to post an impressive round ending with a duplicate 66. Dufner had just one bogey for the round and an eagle on the par-5 16th.
Wi was coming off a final round at Innisbrook (Fla.) on Sunday in which he made a 13 on one hole. Nick Watney led the chase pack after an opening 68. “I’ve never really done well here,” said Wi, a former Cal star whose previous body of work at Bay Hill was last year’s tie for 24th, two missed cuts and a withdrawal. “If I had known (I’d be) a couple under today before I teed off, I would have been very pleased. To shoot 66 is a pleasant surprise.”
Tiger Woods was among seven players at 3 under, walking away with a ho-hum 69 that included solid ball striking but also two three-putt bogeys. “Could have shot 5 under par without hitting it real close,” said Woods, who also said he hardly gave any thought to the sore Achilles that has been the golf world’s focus for the past 10 days. “I’m just out there playing. I’m feeling good; I’ve been getting treatment. Everything’s good. No swelling.”
Kim, Justin Rose, winner at Doral (Fla.) two weeks ago, K.J. Choi and Bubba Watson were also among the group at 3 under. Kim aced the 203-yard 17th hole, finding the range with a 5-iron. “Hitting the green has been an issue,” he said, “So making it in the hole was nice.” It wasn’t the only ace on the day, as Ryan Moore carded a late hole-in-one at No. 7 from 203 yards away with a 5-iron. Moore, though, was only able to get in at 1-under 71.
Phil Mickelson opened with a 1-over 73, though he battled back from two early double bogeys to birdie three of his final six holes. LPGA Tour: Top-ranked Yani Tseng shot a 5-under 67 for a share of the first-round lead with Ji Young Oh in the Kia Classic in Carlsbad. Tseng, who won the Founders Cup on Sunday in Phoenix, finished with a birdie on the par-4 ninth at La Costa’s Legends Course. Suzann Pettersen, Jiyai Shin, Brittany Lincicome, Jennifer Johnson and Caroline Hedwall were a stroke back. Michelle Wie opened with a 77.
European Tour, Damien McGrane shot a 7-under 65 to take a two-stroke lead at the Hassan II Trophy in Agadir, Morocco. Alejandro Canizares was second at Golf du Palais Royal, which sits inside the walls of the Royal Palace of Agadir. Other than this event, the course is used only by King Mohammed VI and his guests. Meanwhile, John Daly opened with a 77.