Published: Sun, March 19, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Grillo shoots 5-under at Bay Hill

"It's been a little bit of a struggle which I didn't really anticipate coming in here", he said. "And just to see it sitting there empty. yeah, that's hard".

In the six months since Palmer's death, Saunders has often taken on the role of public face of his family.

Emiliano Grillo was the first round co-leader and one off the 36-hole lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational but will start the final round at Bay Hill Club & Lodge several shots back.

Perhaps sick of the hole, he walked onto the green still shoeless, and putted the ball in with his pitching wedge for a triple bogey. His 4-iron landed an inch from the hole and nicked the pin on the par-3 17th.

Even so, it was a big day.

At seven-over 151, he was way down in the 120-player field at Bay Hill in a tournament where tributes poured in for "The King", who passed away previous year.

Rory McIlroy birdied his last two holes for a 65 and climbed within five shots.

The 22-year-old Englishman seeks his first career US PGA victory after three European Tour triumphs, the most recent last November at Dubai when he captured the World Tour Championship by one shot over compatriot Tyrrell Hatton.

Saunders, 29, has only conditional status on the PGA Tour this year.

"How can you not? He made a mark on this game that will probably never be equaled", Saunders said.

"We've had so much going on and so many great things happening, it's actually made it go by kind of quickly", Saunders said. "It always will be". The players as a tribute also carried Palmer's logo, the coloured umbrella on their bags.

Day recoded an eagle and a birdie against two bogeys on his way to a 1-under 71 while Chalmers trod water with four dropped shots against four birdies to post even par.

Kisner ran his birdie attempt on the 18th about 6 feet by and three-putted from the fringe.

"It was regular golf for me", he said.

Faster, firmer fairways will bring into play rough as gnarly as the course has seen in years. It was the first time he saw the King in person, riding in his cart. "I don't think that a lot of 16-year-olds can be in that situation with their granddad, obviously, so I'm forever grateful for it". "They did some spectacular job this year honouring him".

Day overcame unusually cold conditions to card an opening round of 70 and lie three shots off the early clubhouse target set by Argentina's Grillo.

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