Sat, Mar 20, 2004 - Page 18 News List

Woods sits behind leaders at Bay Hill Invitational


Soft greens and benign conditions must have made players wonder if they were really at the Bay Hill Invitational on Thursday. All it took was Tiger Woods near the lead to remind them.

Trying to become the first player on any tour to win the same tournament five straight times, Woods got off to a solid start by missing only one fairway in a round of 5-under 67 that left him one shot out of the lead.

"I haven't won yet," Woods said, when asked again what it would mean to win five years in a row. "Hopefully, I have a chance this year. I've set myself up. I have three more rounds -- a long way to go."

Chad Campbell and Darren Clarke each navigated Bay Hill without a bogey in their rounds of 66, while Shigeki Maruyama joined them late in the afternoon when the greens became slightly firmer.

John Daly also joined the chase, returning from a freak hand accident to shoot 68.

"This course has not been kind to me in the past," said Daly, whose adventures at Bay Hill include an 18 on the par-5 sixth hole in 1998, and an 87 in the final round in 2000. "It's just good to play at Arnie's tournament, and to play well for a change."

Tournament host Arnold Palmer received ovations at every turn, despite an 88, his highest score ever. His legion of fans had some good golf to cheer, as Campbell played with the King for the first time.

"Showing off, trying to impress him," Campbell joked. "I was real excited about coming out to play today. It's a pretty memorable experience. We owe him so much."

Campbell, who ended last year by winning the Tour Championship, was efficient as ever. He chipped in from 45 feet on the tough par-3 second hole, and closed out his round with good iron shots into 12 feet on Nos. 7 and 8.

"I didn't give myself any trouble," he said.

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