Shane Lowry takes first-round lead at Arnold Palmer Invitational

The Offaly man opened with a 66 at Bay Hill

Shane Lowry during the Cognizant Classic in Florida (Marta Lavandier, AP)
Shane Lowry Shane Lowry leads after round one at Bay Hill (Marta Lavandier/AP)

SHANE Lowry closed out the first day of the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a one-shot lead at Bay Hill, building on his momentum from last week’s Cognizant Classic.

The Irishman was in contention to record his first victory at a regular PGA Tour event at Palm Beach Gardens, but came unstuck on the final day.

He rebounded with a six-under-par 66 in Orlando on Thursday to take a one-shot lead from Justin Lower and Hideki Matsuyama.

Lowry picked up just one shot on the front nine, but came home strongly with four birdies and an eagle on the closing stretch.

Lowry’s compatriot Seamus Power and England’s Justin Rose have work to do on Friday after recording level par 72s, alongside Cognizant Classic winner Austin Eckroat.

Rory McIlroy and England’s Tommy Fleetwood are a shot further back on one-over-par.