Bello made all but two of his birdie putts from about 6 feet or closer.
The Mount Juliet golfer eagled the 18th to race to the turn in four-under 32 and move into the top-10 on five-under.
Mickelson's round of 68 included a double-bogey at the par-four 10th, where "Lefty" tried rather ambitiously to hit a right-handed recovery shot only for his ball to get caught up in a mesh fence. Starting on the tenth tee, Sloan made five birdies in six holes from the 12th to the 17th, keeping the momentum going with a delicate sand save on the 15th from a tough lie in the bunker. "Obviously, playing at Bay Hill with him I know how special this event is for all of us, I can only imagine how special it is for him". This was a great round to play to get myself back into contention.
The Spaniard avoided trouble on the many water-lined holes to head American Keegan Bradley by two strokes, while 1997 champion Phil Mickelson was among a group three off the pace in Orlando.
World number two Justin Rose hit a 70 to sit six shots off the pace but the tournament ended early for five times major victor Phil Mickelson, who failed to make the cut after a six-over 78 that included three bogeys and two doubles. He carded three bogeys and one double bogey and missed the cut after finishing 2 over for the tournament.
The double-bogey included a freakish attempted recovery shot, with the left-handed Mickelson switching to a right-handed stance in a failed attempt to play his way out of trouble when his tee-shot ended up nestled against a fence alongside the left fairway.
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Rafa Cabrera Bello proved a quick learner in his first appearance at Bay Hill, taking the first-round lead with a seven-under-par 65 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida on Thursday.
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy had an erratic start with an even-par 70, finishing with back-to-back birdies to rescue his opening round.
Earlier in the day, the event took another loss as former world number one Jason Day withdrew because of a back injury.
The 31-year-old walked off the course after playing his second shot on the 16th after teeing off on the back nine.
Former world No.1 and 2016 victor at Bay Hill, Day walked off after just six holes before revealing he had an MRI on Monday that indicated an annular tear in his L4/L5 disc.
"I (aggravated) it last Sunday", he said, "and then got an MRI Monday, which came back that I had an annular tear in my disc, and then I've got set problems as well".