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Tiger in the mix as Stenson leads Bay Hill

18 March 2018

Woods is coming off a tie for second at last week's Valspar, where he missed a playoff with Paul Casey by one stroke.

"I like being out here, I like playing golf".

"Maybe a low one tomorrow will give me a chance to kind of steal one from behind", said Woods.

Three weeks before the start of the Masters, the year's first major tournament, Woods showed none of the back pain that sidelined him most of the past two seasons. He's not really feeling early tee times in brisk environments like the one that welcomed him Friday, and if he were playing for fun rather than a $1.6 million dollar first-place prize he probably would have waited things out.

Told that Las Vegas oddsmakers were making him the Masters favorite based on his past week's performance, Woods said, "A lot of gamble-holics out there."We have a long way to go".

"Today was just a bad day", Woods said. I feel like over the last couple of months of 2017 into this year I sort of rediscovered my love for the game a little bit.

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Dele, no? The question [about whether he should do more] - I'm a little bit: 'Wow.' We expect more from him? "I am the same". You need to find different motivation and stimulus. "This is the only option we have to try and achieve that", he added.

Sweden's Henrik Stenson made nine birdies against a lone bogey to open on 64 to seize the clubhouse lead.Jimmy Walker, the 2016 PGA Championship victor.

American Bryson DeChambeau was one stroke back in second after 12 holes with compatriot Rickie Fowler third at 10-under after 14 holes.

Woods, a 14-time major victor, again showed solid form with the Masters looming in three weeks, firing a three-under par 69 to stand on 209 through 54 holes at the Orlando layout where he has captured eight career titles.

The 14-time major victor was two-over after his front nine, but at least managed to salvage some hope on the back nine with birdies at the 12th and 16th, that saw him finish with a 72.

"People have been so supportive".

Tiger Woods has battled to stay in the mix while Henrik Stenson has taken the 54-hole at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida. Shaking off a bogey at the par-3 14, DeChambeau hit his second shot to 7 feet and made eagle at the 497-yard, par-5 16. That set the stage for his greatest putt of all. By day's end, An would add three more birdie conversions from outside nine feet. But the work wasn't over. He found the front bunker on the par-3 17th, hit out to 15 feet and made that one, and then saved par from the bunker left of the 18th green down the slope toward the green, holing a 5-foot putt.

Tiger in the mix as Stenson leads Bay Hill