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Tiger Woods at Arnold Palmer

Tiger Woods at Arnold Palmer

Tiger Woods at Arnold Palmer

The 14-time major victor, who is returning to golf this year following a fourth back surgery, sits one shot off the lead following the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at the Bay Hill course in Florida.

The smile was quickly back on the 14-time major winner's face as he birdied the fourth and sixth, both par fives, and it remained firmly in place as he followed a poor tee shot on the par-three seventh by holing from 70 feet for an unlikely birdie.

Woods looks to be going from strength to strength with this touch of finesse on the 7th hole at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

"It's just playing tournament golf".

That performance saw some bookmakers install the 14-time major victor as a joint-favourite for the upcoming Masters alongside world number one Dustin Johnson, but Woods was keen to avoid getting carried away with the hype.

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Goydos has 11 more years and seven fewer Arnold Palmer Invitational titles than Woods, whose quick return to championship form Goydos had all but predicted last November.

More to come on Woods' first round at Bay Hill momentarily.

The temperature had warmed considerably by the time Paul Goydos began play as part of the first afternoon threesome off No. 10.

Walker holed out from 132 yards for eagle on the 18th fairway to complete an opening 67, one stroke ahead of fellow Americans Woods and Patrick Reed.

Grouped with Woods was 2016 Bay Hill victor Jason Day, who struggled to a 73 courtesy of averaging 51 feet from the hole on approach shots. The electricity that courses through the crowds when Woods is playing well, he added, "just seems to kind of elevate, and for some reason it just kind of gets me going". "I was just trying to lag it down there, just make my par and get outta here and it had a crash at the hole, which I'm not complaining about, and it went in". "So I'm still learning, I'm getting a lot better at it, which is nice and I think that you're starting to see the fruits of that now of the little tweaks I've made and I'm excited about it".

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