An alligator stole the show at the Arnold Palmer Invitational as the creature had to be pushed back into Bay Hill Lake by Cody Gribble.

The Texas-born golfer looked cool, calm and collected as he gently gave the alligator a nudge by tapping on his tail.

Elsewhere, England's Matt Fitzpatrick claimed a share of the lead in the Arnold Palmer Invitational as pre-tournament favourites Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson struggled to make an impression.

Fitzpatrick carded a flawless 67 at Bay Hill to join Argentina's Emiliano Grillo at the top of the leaderboard, with compatriot Paul Casey a shot behind alongside Lucas Glover and Charley Hoffman.

Advertisement

In contrast, McIlroy's 74 included four bogeys and a double bogey, while Stenson - who has finished in the top 15 in his last five appearances in the event - double-bogeyed the 18th in a 75 matched by Blayne Barber.

The American was a last-minute replacement for Danny Willett after the Masters champion withdrew due to illness.

Fitzpatrick eclipsed Nick Faldo's record as the youngest Englishman to win three times on the European Tour with victory - and the first prize of more than £1million - in the DP World Tour Championship in November, two years to the day after gaining his card via the qualifying school.

The 22-year-old from Sheffield has taken advice from McIlroy on buying property in Florida as he plans to gain his PGA Tour card, a task which would be completed with a win at Bay Hill.