Rose hits the front with 65

Rose hits the front with 65

Briton Justin Rose returned a seven-under 65 to grab the first-round lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Thursday, while Tiger Woods got his bid for an eighth Bay Hill title off to a solid start.

Helped by a red-hot putter, Rose outshone playing partners Woods and South African Ernie Els by mixing an eagle and six birdies with a single bogey on a sunny but chilly and blustery day at "Arnie's place."

Playing the back nine first, Rose got off to a stuttering start with a bogey at the 11th but it would be his only blemish in an otherwise sparkling round highlighted by an eagle at the par-five 16th and four straight birdies from the fourth to leave him two clear of American John Huh.

Huh spoiled an error-free round and missed a chance to join Rose atop the leaderboard when he bogeyed his final hole, the par-four ninth, after dropping six birdies for a 67.
Lurking a further stroke back on 68 are American John Rollins and Canadian Brad Fritsch.

Woods, who can reclaim the number one world ranking from Rory McIlroy with a win on Sunday, was not at his best but battled to a three-under 69 to headline a pack of 10 golfers four shots off the lead.