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Shane Lowry leads star-studded Arnold Palmer Invitational field by one after opening round

Shane Lowry leads the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill by one shot, building on his momentum from last week's Cognizant Classic.

The Irishman was in contention to record his first victory at a regular PGA Tour event at Palm Beach Gardens on Monday, but came unstuck on the final day.

He rebounded with a six-under-par 66 in Orlando on Thursday to take a one-shot lead from American Justin Lower and Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama.

Lowry picked up just one shot on the front nine, but came home strongly with four birdies and an eagle on the closing stretch.

"It's one of these places where some people love it," said Lowry of Bay Hill on

"I've struggled with it over the years," he said. "It's a nice place to come, it's obviously a great tournament, a huge tournament, and I'm very happy with that today. Maybe that's the kind of score I need to shoot around here to just give myself the confidence to go out and play my game around here."

Meanwhile, Jordan Spieth's three under 69 saw him tied for eighth. 

"I think it was more solid than maybe the scorecard indicates," said Spieth. 

"The mistakes that I made, I feel like I can clean up. And there weren't a whole lot of 'em."

Lowry's compatriot Seamus Power and England's Justin Rose have work to do on Friday after recording level par 72s, alongside Cognizant Classic winner Austin Eckroat.

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy and England's Tommy Fleetwood are a shot further back on one-over-par.



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