Justin Rose leads at Bay Hill

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ORLANDO, Fla. — Justin Rose started out as another guy in Tiger Woods’ group Thursday at Bay Hill. He wound up in the lead.

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Justin Rose made four consecutive birdies late in the round en route to 7-under-par 65 and a two-shot at the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament in Orlando, Fla.  PHELAN M. EBENHACK/ASSOCIATED PRESS
PHELAN M. EBENHACK/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Justin Rose made four consecutive birdies late in the round en route to 7-under-par 65 and a two-shot at the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament in Orlando, Fla.

Rose put on a clinic with the putter and ran off four straight birdies late in his round of 7-under-par 65. That gave him a two-shot lead over John Huh in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Woods had two sloppy bogeys from greenside bunkers and didn’t hit it as well as he did when he won Doral two weeks ago. But he made enough key par saves and manhandled the par 5s to scratch out a 69, a reasonable start as he tries to win Bay Hill for the eighth time and return to No. 1 in the world.

It was only the sixth time in 31 rounds at Bay Hill that Rose broke 70.

“If you had said I would shoot a 65 on the range this morning, I would have probably said, ‘How many holes have I played?’ And that didn’t change much,” Rose said. “The first five, six holes out there were a grind.”

For the second consecutive week, someone made a 10. This time it was former Augusta State golfer Patrick Reed, who hit two in the water on the 18th, his sixth in a back bunker and a three-putt for his 10 en route to 79. John Daly last week at Innisbrook made his 15th score of 10 or worse on a hole.

WEB.COM TOUR: In Broussard, La., John Peterson shot 6-under-par 65 to share the lead in his home-state tournament, the Louisiana Open.

Peterson, who attended Louisiana State University and still lives in Baton Rouge, is tied for first place with former Clemson golfer Danny Ellis.

Peterson will be playing in the Masters Tournament, which starts April 11. He qualified based on his finish in the 2012 U.S. Open, where he tied for fourth place.

Ben Martin, another former Clemson star, is tied for third place with Ryan Spears and Nikc Flanagan at 66.

D.J. Trahan, yet another former Clemson golfer, is in a large group at 67 that also features former Georgia golfer Brendon Todd and Hudson Swafford.

EUROPEAN TOUR: In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Kiradech Aphibarnrat shot 7-under-par 65 to take the clubhouse lead at the Malaysian Open before thunderstorms caused the suspension of the first round.

Half the field was still on the course.

Aphibarnrat is one stroke ahead of 2010 Ryder Cup player Edoardo Molinari, Gregory Bourdy and Anders Hansen at the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club.

Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington is in a group at 3-under, while third-ranked Luke Donald had three bogeys and a double bogey for 74.

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LOCAL INTEREST

VAUGHN TAYLOR Evans resident

Score/shots back 71/6

CHARLES HOWELL Augusta native

Score/shots back 73/8

SCOTT BROWN North Augusta native

Score/shots back 74/9

BRIAN GAY Louisville, Ga.*

Score/shots back 78/13

PATRICK REED Ex-Augusta State golfer

Score/shots back 79/14

* former resident


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