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Page last updated at 22:59 GMT, Thursday, 26 March 2009

Woods finds his form at Bay Hill

-5 J Gore-4 T Herron, J Overton -3 S O'Hair, L Janzen, M Wilson, N Watney, S Appleby (Aus), H Mahan
Selected others:
-2 T Woods Level P Harrington (Ire) +2 O Wilson (Eng) +5 J Rose (Eng) +6 R Fisher (Eng), G Owen (Eng)+7 I Poulter (Eng)

Tigers Woods in action at the Arnold Palmer Invitational
Woods carded five birdies, a bogey and one double bogey

Tiger Woods shot a first-round 68 to finish three shots off the lead after his first round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando.

Woods, playing in his third tournament of the year following his return to action after knee surgery, shot four consecutive birdies on the back nine.

Playing partner Padraig Harrington finished on level par after carding three birdies and three bogeys.

Jason Gore leads at five under, one clear of Tim Herron and Jeff Overton.

Gore birdied three of his last four holes, finishing on the par-4 ninth and putted just 24 times during his round.

On the back nine I started hitting it better and made some putts

Tiger Woods

Woods, who went into the tournament having tied for ninth place at Doral in the WGC-CA Championship two weeks ago, also took 24 putts.

He chipped in from 33 yards at the first but shot a double-bogey seven at the sixth and scrambled par after poor tee shots at the eighth and ninth.

Woods then found some form, with his four straight birdies between the 11th and 14th holes, even though his drive at the 12th was disappointing.

The 33-year-old bogeyed the 17th but said he was satisfied with his round.

"I had some trouble on the front nine, but the back nine I started hitting it better and made some putts and that's when I got on the board," said Woods.

"I've just to keep doing what I'm doing, try and put the ball in play. I didn't do that today but I'm going to have to do that tomorrow and come the weekend.

"The golf is going to get even more dried out and I'm going to have to try and get some birdies early with very little wind."


Woods is in a seven-way tie for 10th, along with the likes of Sweden's Daniel Chopra and American Rocco Mediate.

Harrington, the current Open and US PGA champion, is one of a host of players on level par - but only after he escaped with a par at the last after sending his second into the rocks at the water's edge in front of the green.

England's Brian Davis and Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell finished one over par, as did reigning Masters champion Trevor Immelman of South Africa.

Oliver Wilson finished one shot back, but a quartet of Englishmen will struggle to make the cut after disappointing opening rounds.

Justin Rose finished five over, while Ross Fisher and Greg Owen are one shot behind and Ian Poulter, who hit two double bogeys, is on seven over.

Japan's Ryo Ishikawa, just 17, started well but finished with a round of 76 after failing to recover from a quadruple bogey at the sixth.

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see also
Deutsche Bank leaderboard
07 Sep 09 |  Live scores
Harrington fit after eye surgery
06 Feb 09 |  Golf
Woods defends $3m Australian fee
26 Mar 09 |  Golf
Woods secures victory on comeback
25 Feb 09 |  Golf

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