Highlights | Round 1 | Arnold Palmer 2019

Florence Fletcher
March 9, 2019

Rafa Cabrera Bello proved a quick learner in his first appearance at Bay Hill, taking the first-round lead with a seven-under-par 65 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida on Thursday.

Former world number one Jason Day called it quits after hitting his second shot into water at the par-five 16th, his seventh, and said that an MRI on Monday had revealed a disc tear.

Day had finished T4-T5 in his last two starts on Tour, but it is now unclear whether or not he will play in next week's Players Championship, which he won in 2016.

"I couldn't play at 100 per cent today so I just wanted to see if I could get out here and see if my back loosened up at all". "My back was sore when I was practicing from Tuesday to Saturday, and I was going to practice on Sunday, but I woke up and couldn't really walk or sit in the auto. But unfortunately it didn't, so I had to pull out".

"I got off to a good start but it's so early, and so many things can go wrong, you just stay in the moment and try not to think about the score", he said.

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Day was two-over-par at the time and visibly struggling with his swing.

Rory McIlroy said Wednesday achieving a career Grand Slam at the Masters next month would be "awesome" for golf as he warms up for Augusta at this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational.

The 31-year-old equalled the course record 63 at Sawgrass during his four-shot win there in 2016. Check in for highlights from every tournament plus player interviews, player profiles, tournament previews, swing analysis and all the greatest shots and unbelievable moments.

"I've been messing around with a 64-degree lob wedge as I think that could be beneficial around (Augusta)", McIlroy, a victor of the USA and British Opens and the PGA Championship, said.

He also withdrew mid-tournament from the final two events of the 2016 PGA Tour play-offs with a strained ligament in his lower back.

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