GOLF | WGC-CADILLAC CHAMPIONSHIP

Four tied for World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship lead amid tough conditions at Doral

 

Leaderboard

PLAYER R2 PAR
T1. Patrick Reed75-1
T1. Dustin Johnson74-1
T1. Matt Kuchar74-1
T1. Hunter Mahan74-1
T5. Francesco Molinari75E
T5. Graeme McDowell71E
T5. Rory McIlroy74E
T5. Jamie Donaldson70E

Third round: Noon, GOLF; 2 p.m., NBC

Inside: Tiger’s up-and-down day includes 92-foot birdie putt, 6D

•  Results/Tee times: 6D


Special to the Miami Herald.

One after another, a parade of weary and frustrated golfers trudged off the Blue Monster course Friday, shaking their heads in exasperation.

The redesigned Blue Monster, with the help of a persistent and strong wind, turned into exactly what it is named — a monster.

When the day was over, and at the midpoint of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral, only four golfers — Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan and Patrick Reed — were under par, tied for first place at 1-under-par 143.

People said they wanted a more difficult Monster. They got it.

Friday’s difficulties were enhanced by winds that were constantly above 20 mph, with gusts nearing 40 mph. In addition, most of the golfers had to complete Thursday’s first round that was delayed because of rain and darkness before embarking on their second round.

“Out here, if you don’t hit it perfect, it doesn’t come out very good,” said Dustin Johnson, 29, after his rounds of 69-74. “Just frustrating.”

Nevertheless, being tied for the lead sparked some optimism from Johnson.

“I’ve always enjoyed it when it’s tough,” he said. “You know, being 1-under-par and tied for the lead, that says something about the conditions and also the golf course.”

Kuchar, 35, who also shot 69-74, said, “It felt like a survival contest. Pars were a great score. You could easily shoot 6-, 7- or 8-over-par without blinking an eye.”

Then Kuchar added, “I think that you have to kind of embrace the challenge … look forward to seeing what sort of shots you can come up with.”

Reed, 23, who came in at 68-75, briefly looked up to see that Doral’s new owner, Donald Trump, was following him on the course. Reed had no time to chat, though. He pretty much ignored Trump because he said he needed his “total focus” to survive the course.

“With how windy and how tough it was out there, you don’t really notice anybody,” Reed said. “You’re just trying to figure out how to get the golf ball going straight.”

Mahan, 31, with his 69-74, said, “I felt stressed all day. I mean, there just wasn’t an easy shot out there. Every shot was daunting and challenging.”

How difficult was the new Blue Monster?

• There were a record 113 balls that went into the water Friday, which works out to 1.66 per player.

• The stroke average for Friday’s round was 4-over 76.

• Only two players, Miguel Angel Jimenez completing his first round and Jonas Blixt in his second round, had bogey-free rounds Friday.

Nobody was excluded from a large dose of humility. That included Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

Woods shot 76-73 for a 5-over total of 149, six shots off the pace. Mickelson, who had three double bogeys in a row on holes two through four, also was at 149 with a 74-75.

Asked what the most difficult hole was, Woods gave the perfect answer: “One through 18.”

Woods, who made a 92-foot birdie putt on the par-3 fourth hole, is not dismissing his chances of repeating as champion.

“We’ve all got a shot at it,” Woods said. “No one is going anywhere.”

Of the bad back that threatened to keep Woods out of the tournament, Tiger said, “I’m a little sore right now. Long day. Long day.”

Four players — Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy, Francesco Molinari and Jamie Donaldson — were one stroke back of the leaders at even-par 144.

“I was thinking to myself, is this getting close to unplayable regarding wind strength,” said McDowell, who fashioned a more-than-respectable 73-71.

“It wasn’t really anything silly going on,” McDowell said. “It was just brutally difficult. I don’t think I’ve played in conditions this difficult in the U.S. It’s an Open championship day.

“It was hard out there — really, really hard. Part of me feels ecstatic just to be off the golf course right now.”

McDowell could have been speaking for a lot of golfers.

Read more Golf stories from the Miami Herald

  • PGA European - Omega European Masters Preview

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Runner up: Craig Lee 2012: Richie Ramsay (267). Runner up: Fredrik Andersson Hed, Marcus Fraser, Danny Willett, Romain Wattel 2011: Thomas Bjorn (264). Runner up: Martin Kaymer 2010: Miguel Angel Jimenez (263). Runner up: Edoardo Molinari 2009: Alexander Noren (264). Runner up: Bradley Dredge 2008: *Jean-Francois Lucquin (271). Runner up: Rory McIlroy 2007: *Brett Rumford (268). Runner up: Phillip Archer 2006: Bradley Dredge (267). Runner up: Francesco Molinari, Marcel Siem 2005: Sergio Garcia (270). Runner up: Peter Gustafsson 2004: Luke Donald (265). Runner up: Miguel Angel Jimenez 2003: Ernie Els (267). Runner up: Michael Campbell 2002: Robert Karlsson (270). Runner up: Trevor Immelman, Paul Lawrie 2001: Ricardo Gonzalez (268). Runner up: Soren Hansen 2000: Eduardo Romero (261). Runner up: Thomas Bjorn 1999: Lee Westwood (270). Runner up: Thomas Bjorn 1998: *Sven Struver (263). Runner up: Patrik Sjoland 1997: Costantino Rocca (266). Runner up: Robert Karlsson, Scott Henderson 1996: Colin Montgomerie (260). Runner up: Sam Torrance 1995: Mathias Gronberg (270). Runner up: Costantino Rocca, Barry Lane 1994: Eduardo Romero (266). Runner up: Pierre Fulke 1993: Barry Lane (270). Runner up: Seve Ballesteros, Miguel Angel Jimenez 1992: *Jamie Spence (271). Runner up: Anders Forsbrand 1991: Jeff Hawkes (268). Runner up: Seve Ballesteros 1990: Ronan Rafferty (267). Runner up: John Bland 1989: Seve Ballesteros (266). Runner up: Craig Parry 1988: Chris Moody (268). Runner up: Seve Ballesteros, Anders Forsbrand, Ian Woosnam 1987: Anders Forsbrand (263). Runner up: Mark Mouland 1986: Jose Maria Olazabal (262). Runner up: Anders Forsbrand 1985: Craig Stadler (267). Runner up: 1984: Jerry Anderson (261). Runner up: Howard Clark 1983: *Nick Faldo (268). Runner up: Sandy Lyle 1982: *Ian Woosnam (272). Runner up: Bill Longmuir 1981: *Manuel Pinero (277). Runner up: Antonio Garrido, Tony Johnstone 1980: Nick Price (267). Runner up: Manuel Calero 1979: Hugh Baiocchi (275). Runner up: Antonio Garrido, Dale Hayes, Delio Lovato 1978: Seve Ballesteros (272). Runner up: Manuel Pinero 1977: Seve Ballesteros (273). Runner up: John Schroeder 1976: Manuel Pinero (274). Runner up: Dave Hill 1975: Dale Hayes (273). Runner up: Tienie Britz, Bernard Gallacher, Gary Player 1974: Bob Charles (275). Runner up: Tony Jacklin 1973: Hugh Baiocchi (278). Runner up: Eddie Polland, Jack Newton 1972: Graham Marsh (270). Runner up: Tony Jacklin 1971: Peter Townsend (270). Runner up: Manuel Ballesteros 1970: Graham Marsh (274). Runner up: 1969: Roberto Bernardini (277). Runner up: 1968: Roberto Bernardini (272). Runner up: 1967: Randall Vines (272). Runner up: 1966: Alfonso Angelini (271). Runner up: 1965: #Harold Henning (208). Runner up: 1964: Harold Henning (276). Runner up: 1963: *Dai Rees (278). Runner up: 1962: *Bob Charles (272). Runner up: 1961: Kel Nagle (268). Runner up: 1960: Harold Henning (270). Runner up: 1959: Dai Rees (274). Runner up: 1958: Ken Bousfield (272). Runner up: 1957: Alfonso Angelini (270). Runner up: 1956: Dai Rees (278). Runner up: 1955: Flory van Donck (277). Runner up: 1954: Bobby Locke (276). Runner up: 1953: Flory van Donck (267). Runner up: 1952: Ugo Grappasonni (267). Runner up: 1951: Eric Brown (267). Runner up: 1950: Aldo Casera (276). Runner up: 1949: Marcel Dallemagne (270). Runner up: 1948: Ugo Grappasonni (285). Runner up: 1947: Not Held. Runner up: 1946: Not Held. Runner up: 1945: Not Held. Runner up: 1944: Not Held. Runner up: 1943: Not Held. Runner up: 1942: Not Held. Runner up: 1941: Not Held. Runner up: 1940: Not Held. Runner up: 1939: Fifi Cavalo (273). Runner up: 1938: J. Saubaber (139). Runner up: 1937: M. Dallemagne (138). Runner up: 1936: @F. Francis (134). Runner up: 1935: Auguste Boyer (137). Runner up: 1934: Auguste Boyer (133). Runner up: 1933: Not Held. Runner up: 1932: Not Held. Runner up: 1931: M. Dallemagne (145). Runner up: 1930: Auguste Boyer (150). Runner up: 1929: A. Wilson (142). Runner up: 1928: Not Held. Runner up: 1927: Not Held. Runner up: 1926: Alex Ross (145). Runner up: 1925: Alex Ross (148). Runner up: 1924: P. Boomer (150). Runner up: 1923: Alex Ross (149). Runner up: * - Won in Playoff # - 54 Holes @ - Amateur Formerly called Swiss Open (1971-81), Ebel Swiss Masters (1982), Ebel European Masters Swiss Open (1983-1990), Canon European Masters Swiss Open (1991), Canon European Masters (1992-2000). Top Contenders Thomas Bjorn 2004: T-26 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: mc 2010: T-15 2011: Won 2012: mc 2013: Won Craig Lee 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 74th 2009: 2010: 2011: 2012: 2013: 2nd Victor Dubuisson 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: 2011: mc 2012: T-49 2013: 3rd Miguel A. Jimenez 2004: 2nd 2005: T-13 2006: T-37 2007: mc 2008: T-3 2009: 4th 2010: Won 2011: T-9 2012: T-11 2013: T-5 Brooks Koepka 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: 2011: 2012: 2013: T-7 Paul Lawrie 2004: T-46 2005: mc 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: mc 2011: T-35 2012: T-6 2013: 12th Brett Rumford 2004: T-56 2005: T-69 2006: T-44 2007: Won 2008: T-23 2009: T-32 2010: T-13 2011: T-65 2012: T-19 2013: T-15 David Howell 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: mc 2008: 2009: T-7 2010: mc 2011: dq 2012: T-27 2013: T-26 Danny Willett 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: T-23 2010: T-42 2011: T-25 2012: T-2 2013: T-26 Matteo Manassero 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: T-23 2010: 3rd 2011: T-18 2012: T-34 2013: T-34 Gregory Bourdy 2004: 2005: mc 2006: 2007: mc 2008: 2009: T-19 2010: 2011: mc 2012: T-34 2013: T-44 Richie Ramsay 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: mc 2010: mc 2011: 34th 2012: Won 2013: mc Jamie Donaldson 2004: 2005: mc 2006: wd 2007: 2008: mc 2009: 2010: T-23 2011: T-3 2012: T-9 2013: mc Fabrizio Zanotti 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: T-47 2009: mc 2010: mc 2011: T-45 2012: T-41 2013: mc Marc Warren 2004: 2005: 2006: T-4 2007: mc 2008: mc 2009: mc 2010: T-9 2011: mc 2012: T-55 2013: mc Hennie Otto 2004: T-60 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: T-55 2009: 2010: mc 2011: T-61 2012: T-64 2013: mc Darren Clarke 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: mc 2008: 2009: T-60 2010: T-15 2011: T-35 2012: T-71 2013: mc Pablo Larrazabal 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: mc 2009: mc 2010: mc 2011: T-48 2012: mc 2013: mc Mikko Ilonen 2004: wd 2005: mc 2006: T-7 2007: T-18 2008: T-32 2009: 2010: T-9 2011: 2012: mc 2013: mc Peter Uihlein 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: 2011: 2012: 2013: mc Bernd Wiesberger 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: 2011: mc 2012: T-6 2013: Shane Lowry 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: mc 2010: mc 2011: mc 2012: T-49 2013: George Coetzee 2004: 2005: 2006: 2007: 2008: 2009: 2010: mc 2011: T-25 2012: 2013: NOTES: The European Tour travels to Switzerland this week for the Omega European Masters. 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