Cabrera-Bello sets early pace at Arnold Palmer Invitational

Cabrera-Bello sets early pace at Arnold Palmer Invitational

Spaniard Cabrera-Bello mixed an impressive eight birdies with a lone bogey during a 65 that rocketed him to seven-under - two shots ahead of American Keegan Bradley (67).

He quickly sparked to life on his homeward nine and reeled off birdies at the first, third and fourth before following a bogey at the fifth with an otherworldly eagle three at the sixth.

Spain's Rafa Cabrera Bello narrowly missed a hole-in-one on his way to taking a two-shot lead in the opening round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida on Thursday.

"I brought a big shovel", Baddeley quipped.

The 48-year-old five-time Major victor rallied over the closing holes however, making three more birdies including a birdie at the last to stay in touch with the leaders.

The 37-year-old Aussie sits T-3 on the leaderboard entering the final round at Bay Hill thanks to a third-round, 3-under 69 that moved him to 7 under for the tournament, just two back of leader Matthew Fitzpatrick.

World number two Justin Rose hit a 70 to sit six shots off the pace but the tournament ended early for five times major victor Phil Mickelson, who failed to make the cut after a six-over 78 that included three bogeys and two doubles. He would take a one-stroke penalty, drop the ball, and make double bogey.

"I mean, I want to play it, so I would most likely", Mickelson said.

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"It's a penalizing course if you don't hit very good shots, and I hit some bad shots today", Mickelson said.

Jason Day withdrew from the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill after six holes on Thursday, citing a back injury that left him struggling to walk.

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"Unfortunately due to a neck strain that I've had for a few weeks, I'm forced to withdraw from the API", Woods wrote on Twitter "I've been receiving treatment, but it hasn't improved enough to play".

"I (aggravated) it last Sunday", he said, "and then got an MRI Monday, which came back that I had an annular tear in my disc, and then I've got set problems as well".

"Any time you can shoot under par on this golf course, the rough is up, the greens are going to get tougher and tougher", Watson said after shooting 68.

"I just wanted to see if I could get out here and my back may have loosened up", Day said. He had five top-15 finishes in five starts this season.

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