Big finish leaves Weir shot off lead
Holmes, Love III share top spot
Mike Weir is just one shot off the lead after the f irst round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Weir, of Bright’s Grove, Ont., carded an openinground 67 to sit a 5-under, one shot back of co-leaders J. B. Holmes and Davis Love III.
“It wasn’t looking good in the middle of the round,” Weir, who is tied for third with Henrik Stenson, told reporters. “It was looking like an average round, but a few fortunate things turned into a really good round.”
After bogeying the par-4 11th to go to even for his round, Weir had birdies on five of his next six holes.
“ Where it kind of turned around was 12. I hit a great … really nice drive, kind of bad bounce that went in the fairway bunker, but hit a rescue club out of the bunker to 20 feet for eagle and two-putted that,” he said. “Followed that up with a nice wedge to the next hole to about five feet probably, four feet the next hole and made birdie.”
Love, who didn’t make a par in his f irst seven holes, f inished with an eagle, seven birdies and three bogeys.
The 20-time PGA Tour winner made back-to-back birdies at the 16th and 17th, then saved his par from the green side rough at 18, making an eight-foot putt to join Holmes in the lead.
Holmes collected four birdies and an eagle in a flawless round, his lowest score at Bay Hill in five starts at Arnold Palmer’s tournament. The two-time PGA Tour winner held the clubhouse lead by himself for about five hours before Love caught him.
WGC-CA Championship winner Ernie Els led four players at 68. Robert Allenby was tied for the lead after back-to-back birdies at the 16th and 17th holes, but he dumped his approach shot in the water at 18 and f inished with a double-bogey.
Former champion Phil Mickelson shot a 1-under 71 and praised the changes that have been made to Bay Hill since last year’s tournament.
Palmer oversaw a renovation to his course that began with new tees and greens, and included the re-positioning of bunkers. Longer by a couple hundred yards, Bay Hill now plays as a par 72 instead of a par 70.
Calgary’s Stephen Ames shot a 1-over 73.
SOUTH KOREANS ON TOP
Na On Min shot a bogeyfree 6-under 66 in Carlsbad, California, to take a one-shot lead after the f irst round of the inaugural Kia Classic at La Costa, the first U.S. stop on the LPGA Tour this season.
Teeing off in the morning before the wind picked up, she led three other South Koreans atop the leader board. Na Yeon Choi was one stroke back while Seon Hwa Lee and Inbee Park were two back, tied with Catriona Matthew of Scotland.
Michelle Wie, trying for her second win as a professional, closed with three bogeys in her last six holes and was in a 13-way tie for 24th at 72.
Samantha Richdale of Kelowna, B.C., opened with a 73, Alena Sharp of Hamilton notched a 75, Lorie Kane of Charlottetown shot a 76 and Lisa Meldrum of Montreal had an 81.