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Cabrera-Bello Grounded After Strong Start

Cabrera-Bello Grounded After Strong Start

Rafa Cabrera-Bello was happy to lead the Arnold Palmer Invitational by two shots after the first round but added, “it’s only Thursday”.

The 34-year-old Spaniard was in fine form at Bay Hill on the opening day as he mixed eight birdies with a single bogey to record an impressive score of seven-under-par 65.

Afterwards, a cautious three-time European Tour winner, Cabrera Bello, said: “There’s a lot of challenging shots.

“Pretty much on every hole it’s inviting you to take a risk and it really gets you focused on what you want to do. “I’m really happy to be playing here for the first time.

To win an event that has the name of one of the greatest players on earth would be really special, but it’s only Thursday.”

Former USPGA champion Keegan Bradley sits alone in second in Orlando on five-under, while Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell shares joint-third, alongside Patrick Rodgers, Billy Horschel, Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson, another shot further back.

Meanwhile, world number one Justin Rose is six off the pace, while Rory McIlroy fired back-to-back birdies on his final two holes to post an even-par 70. Australian Jason Day was forced to withdraw with a back injury after completing just six holes.

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