Golf

Scott Piercy maintains early lead at WGC-Cadillac Championship

Scott Piercy watches his shot from the seventh tee during the first round of the Cadillac Championship golf tournament, Thursday, March 3, 2016, in Doral, Fla.
Scott Piercy watches his shot from the seventh tee during the first round of the Cadillac Championship golf tournament, Thursday, March 3, 2016, in Doral, Fla. AP

Despite a star-studded playing field at this week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship, an unfamiliar name sits at the top of the leaderboard as players trickled in after Thursday’s round at Trump National Doral.

Scott Piercy, who finished his round at 6-under-par, headed to the clubhouse with a one-shot lead over Phil Mickelson.

Mickelson began the day with a 1-under-par performance on the back nine before he put together a 4-under par, bogey-free run after the turn to close the gap on Thursday. Marcus Fraser birdied the 5th hole to put him at 5-under-par through 14 holes.

Piercy gave Mickelson a little help when he ended his round with a bogey on the 18th hole. The leader knocked in eight birdies on the day and recorded his only other bogey on the 14th hole.

Adam Scott birdied his final two holes of the day to push him to 4-under-par and into a fourth-place tie with Jason Dufner, Danny Willett, Charley Hoffman.

Bubba Watson recovered after three bogeys on the front nine to make a run at the leaderboard. He earned birdies on six of his last 10 holes to climb back to 3-under-par through 16 holes.

In the day’s featured group, Jordan Spieth put together a largely mistake-free round until a bogey at the ninth hole, which ended the round. The world No. 1 finished at 3-under-par after he notched five birdies and two bogeys. He left the course three shots off the lead and in a tie for eighth place. Rory McIlroy also hovered around the top of the leaderboard until the final hole of the day. He sent one into the water alongside the ninth hole, where he would pick up a double bogey and finish the round at 1-under-par and in 18th place.

After two early birdies, Jason Day struggled the rest of the afternoon. He finished his round six shots off the lead after an even-par 72.

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