English grabs lead, Woods struggles at storm-hit Doral


Sat, Mar 08, 2014 - Page 18

Harris English grabbed the clubhouse lead, while world No. 1 Tiger Woods struggled on Thursday until darkness halted the first round of the storm-hit World Golf Championships Cadillac Championship.

English fired a three-under 69 and was among only six players to complete 18 holes at Doral’s revamped Blue Monster course, where a severe storm stopped play in the afternoon.

Four others — Italy’s Francesco Molinari, and Americans Jason Dufner, Hunter Mahan and Patrick Reed — were still on the course at three-under when darkness fell.

Dufner had two holes to finish, while Molinari had three, Mahan had four and Reed had seven remaining.

“I really started hitting my driver well. That first nine was really tough. The wind got going,” English said. “I kind of got rolling early on the second side.”

Woods, who withdrew from the final round in last weekend’s PGA Tour Honda Classic with back spasms, shared 47th on two-over when play was halted, having just made a bogey at the par-five 10th by missing an eight foot putt.

Woods, who made eight pars and a bogey on the front nine, showed no sign of pain, but faced 26 holes yesterday.

“Should be a long day for all of us,” Woods said. “Hopefully, I can get back out there in the morning, play well and work back to even-par by the end of the first round, then shoot a low one in the afternoon.”

Reigning Masters champion Adam Scott, who can overtake Woods for the world No. 1 ranking with a win this weekend, was two-under after 10 holes.

Among those with Scott in a share of sixth were South Africans Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen, and Americans Zach Johnson, Russell Henley, Matt Kuchar and Dustin Johnson.

Rory McIlroy was enduring a roller-coaster day that saw him with five birdies and four bogeys to stand one-under with four holes remaining.