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McIlroy, DeChambeau start Bay Hill well

(AP Photo/John Raoux)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Bay Hill was bustling Thursday, just like golf before the pandemic. The fans were limited in numbers but they all wanted the same dose of entertainment provided by Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau.

First it was McIlroy, slowly feeling better about his game, and with good reason. Starting with a 55-foot putt on the par-3 second hole, he ran off five straight birdies for a share of the lead with Corey Conners in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at 6-under 66.

In the group behind McIlroy was DeChambeau, who has been contemplating a shot across the water to cut the 528-yard sixth hole down to size by going for the green. This was not the day with a slight breeze into his face, so the U.S. Open champion had some fun. He took out an iron, and then hit a conservative tee shot (309 yards) to the middle of the fairway.

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Money Leaders: PGA Tour
Rank Player Earnings
1 Dustin Johnson $3,573,565
2 Viktor Hovland $3,463,689
3 Xander Schauffele $3,422,801
4 Patrick Cantlay $3,355,710
5 Brooks Koepka $2,823,715
6 Tony Finau $2,811,061
7 Harris English $2,807,092
8 Bryson DeChambeau $2,803,017
9 Justin Thomas $2,672,189
10 Collin Morikawa $2,497,267
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