Arnold Palmer Invitational 2013

Arnold Palmer Invitational 2013

Seven of the top ten best in the world are playing in Florida at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.  Last year Tiger Woods let the world know he was back when he took home the trophy.

Today, Friday, Tiger began his round appearing to be in a position to take control of the tournament.  He has been playing with England’s Justin Rose, who is at the top of his game.

At one point Tiger had closed the gap.  Rose was 10 under par, and Tiger at 8 under.  Then came the last three holes of the day.  Tiger bogeyed each of them and ended his day 4 back of Rose and Bill Haas.

This would be Tiger’s 8th win at Bay Hill.  “The good news is we’ve got 36 holes to go,” said Woods, the only two-time winner this year on the PGA Tour. “We’ve got a long way to go.”

If he wins he will be the number one ranked golfer in the world, overtaking Rory McIlroy.

Although Rose bogeyed the 18th, He is still in the lead.  He had this to say about Woods.

“You always sense his presence,” Rose said of Woods. “It’s hard not to, obviously. His rounds are covered, left, round and center. You can’t avoid it sometimes. But when you’re playing with him, you can almost guarantee that he’ll be in the mix on Sunday at some point.

“If you can keep your nose in front of him, you’re probably signed for that right now and take your chances. But at the end of the day, you’ve only got to look at the golf course. He’s not looking around at what everyone else is doing, and that tells you the way that the game has to be played. You’ve got to have your head down, focusing, one shot at a time and executing as best you can.

“That is the way to get it done.”

Haas played a bogey free round as he was suffering some neck pain.  He had four birdies and an eagle.

“Played very well even though I had that going,” Haas said. “So I told myself it must just be something sore. You can play your way through it. Then it’s kind of just hasn’t gone away.

“But it’s not bad. I can honestly play. I can make a full turn. It’s just sometimes when you look to the left it kind of tightens in the back of the neck. It’s not anything that’s a big deal. … And when you’re playing poorly, it hurts, when you’re playing well, it doesn’t hurt. It’s just today it felt good, obviously.”

The pros call Saturday “moving day”.  If Tiger is in the lead or 2, maybe 3 strokes behind, he may have his third win in this early season.  The Masters is in a couple of weeks.

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express

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