World number one Rory McIlroy is tied in a share of 32nd place after the opening round of the Arnold Palmer International.
McIlroy was out of luck on the 16th, his approach to the par five pitching into a bank short of the green and rolling back down into the water.
That was the only green McIlroy failed to hit in regulation – equalling his career best – and led to a bogey six, but the four-time major winner birdied the 18th to card a two-under-par 70.
“I feel okay,” said McIlroy, who has yet to break 70 on the PGA Tour in 2015. “I saw a lot of positives out there and was just trying to stay as patient as possible.
“The greens are not quite as good as they could be and if it had been a better putting day it could have been a lot lower but I feel a lot better about my game and it was nice to finish with a birdie.”
McIlroy is playing in his final event before attempting to complete the career grand slam with victory in the Masters next month.
Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter his a flawless round of 67 at Bay Hill leaving him in a tie for second on five under par, one shot behind American Morgan Hoffmann, who fired four birdies and an eagle.
Meanwhile, the Madeira Islands Open has been reduced to 54 holes after strong winds meant no play was possible at Santo da Serra yesterday.
Gusts reached 47mph and stayed steadily above 35mph during the day, causing balls to move on the greens at the mountain-top venue.