Mixed bag for McIlroy as Fleetwood leads

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The 34-year-old from Las Palmas, who teed off on the 10th, nearly capped a superb performance with an ace at the par-three second, drilling his tee-shot to within a foot of the pin. Day made a bogey at his first hole, a double at the fourth, a birdie at the fifth and withdrew after hitting his second shot in the water on the par-5 16th hole, his seventh of the day as he started on the back nine.

He got a big lift at the 15th hole when he sank a monster birdie putt from 33 feet.

Cabrera-Bello - a three-time European Tour victor but seeking his maiden PGA Tour crown - started his day with birdies on four of his first six holes to jump out to an early lead.

"There's a lot of challenging shots", Cabrera Bello said.

"I really didn't know what to expect", he told reporters.

"I think the governing bodies are a very easy target right now and it's very easy for people to jump on the bandwagon and criticise, but all these entities in golf are not trying to do anything bad for the game, they're trying to help the game in some way", McIlroy added. "To win an event that has the name of one of the greatest players on earth would be really special, but it's only Thursday".

The 34-year-old Spaniard took advantage of an early tee time to shoot 7-under-par 65 and grabbed a two-stroke lead over Keegan Bradley after the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Fla. The group another shot back included Masters champions Patrick Reed and Bubba Watson, and Eddie Pepperell, who is playing a regular PGA Tour event for the first time and got caught with his trousers up.

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The Portrush native (39) hit just seven fairways in a three-over 75 while Lowry's second round was undone by a costly triple bogey at the third (his 12th) and shot a 79 to finish on seven-over.

Leishman was pleased his scorecard had just one bogey, with three birdies ensuring he is still not out of the race going into the third round.

Only five players from the morning wave broke 70.

World number two Justin Rose was a shot back after an opening 71.

Woods, who has won at Bay Hill a record eight times, was expected to lead a field that included defending champion Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and several other top golfers.

Day, 31, a 12-time PGA Tour victor who won the Arnold Palmer tournament at Bay Hill in 2016, had not played since tying for fourth at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am last month and told the PGA Tour that his back had been bothering him over the past week. Day was coming off a three-week break.

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