Woods Mickelson McDowell wrap up Round 1

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WGC-Cadillac ChampionshipDORAL, Fla. – GolfChannel.com senior writer Rex Hoggard is at Doral for the first round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship. He is providing a running blog for the featured grouping of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Graeme McDowell. Follow him on Twitter (@RexHoggard) for more updates, or for full-field scoring, click here.

 

 

 

(9:54 a.m. ET) Tiger Woods did not attend Thursday’s Lakers-Heat game like most of the WGC field, but Graeme McDowell was there as well as a host of other celebrities.

“Snoop Dogg was there, Lil Wayne was there . . . and Rory (McIlroy),” he smiled.


(9:50 a.m. ET) Graeme McDowell birdied two of his last four holes from the weather-delayed first round at Doral, Tiger Woods pared his last three and Phil Mickelson is trying to figure out what went wrong.

Lefty bogeyed the seventh hole, the first of the group’s day, and hit two balls into the water at the eighth for a double bogey-7 to fall to 1 over par, three behind Woods and McDowell.

Woods, after a tough round on Doral’s greens, seemed particularly upbeat, “I hit a lot of good putts yesterday, but the grain was a lot tougher than I thought and it took some time to adjust.”

The high-profile threesome goes back out into the cool wind for Round 2 just before noon.

 


(9:11 a.m. ET) Much has been made of Tiger Woods' struggles in the wind of late (see Dubai and Dove Mountain) but it was Phil Mickelson who got crossed up in the gusts early Friday at Doral.

Lefty pushed his drive left of the eighth fairway and into a water hazard and pulled his third shot into another pond short of the green. He signed for a double bogey-7. Woods, on the other hand, made birdie.
(8:48 a.m. ET) Spotted Butch Harmon in the Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Graeme McDowell gallery early Friday at Doral.

He's there for Lefty, of course, but watching Woods, who two-putted the seventh hole to remain at 1 under par.
(8:38 a.m. ET)
First-round play at the WGC-Cadillac Championship resumed at 8:30 a.m. with the marquee grouping of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Graeme McDowell on the seventh tee, their 16th hole.

On Thursday the lofty three-ball did not exactly live up to expectations and it's doubtful they will heat up on Friday.

The winds have come up at Doral and the temperature has dropped to 60 degrees, frigid by south Florida standards.
(6:16 p.m. ET) Officials halted play at 6:15 a.m. due to darkness with the day's marquee three-ball on the sixth hole.
(6:08 p.m. ET) As darkness closed in on Doral Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are starting to see the light.

Both hit their approaches to within 10 feet at the fifth, although Woods missed his birdie putt, while Graeme McDowell made bogey to drop to 2 under, tied with Mickeslson and one clear of Woods.

The first round is set to resume at 8:30 a.m. on Friday followed by the second round at 11:20 a.m.


(5:43 p.m. ET) The day's top card is through 12 holes and may finish their first rounds depending on the forecast.

Officials said they can play until 6:30 p.m. before darkness falls.

Tiger Woods may want to keep playing. He holed a 9 footer for birdie at the third hole, his longest putt of the day, to move to 1 under, one behind Phil Mickelson and Graeme McDowell.


(5:27 p.m. ET) Officials gave the masses what they wanted, a Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson rematch at Doral, but the two leading men have not delivered.

 

Mickelson is 2 under, three off the lead, and Woods is at even par through 12 holes. That's a long way from that instant classic six years ago.


(5:15 p.m. ET) Tiger Woods hit his second shot to 18 feet at the par-5 first hole and two-putted for his first birdie of the day and to get to even par.

Still, it didn't earn him tee box honors and he trails Phil Mickelson and Graeme McDowell by two strokes.

(4:47 p.m. ET) Tiger Woods did much better on Doral's 18th hole on Thursday than he did on Wednesday.

Although he made par it was a marked improvement over the 'X' he took in practice.

His first-round score also featured the shot of the day, a cut driver that sailed more than 300 yards through a freshening cross-wind to turn at 1 over par.


(4:19 p.m. ET) Tiger Woods hit his second driver of the day at Doral's 16th hole, the first sailed some 50 yards left of the 12th fairway.

The results were different the second time, not the score. Woods drove to about 20 yards short of the green, flopped his second to 8 feet but missed the birdie putt to remain at 1 over.


(3:57 p.m. ET) Graeme McDowell may request a permanent tee time with Tiger Woods.

Through five holes at Doral the U.S. Open champion has five one-putts and is 2 under par. Woods, by comparison, lipped out an 11-footer for birdie at the 15th hole to remain at 1 over par.


(3:44 p.m. ET) It's worth noting after a messy bogey by Tiger Woods at the 13th hole at Doral that he is playing under relatively calm conditions so far and is still 1 over, three behind tee sheet mates Phil Mickelson and Graeme McDowell.
(3:33 p.m. ET) Television produces and fans at home may love this week's marquee grouping of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Graeme McDowell, but for tournament organizers it can be a challenge.

'Everyone follows one group and they are like locusts,' said one tournament director. 'They move across the course and just inhale everything, concessions, bathrooms, everything.'

The horde is on the move at Doral, with a few hundred trailing Woods and Co. as they move through the back nine.


(3:16 p.m. ET) Quick Tiger Woods update: scrambling par at his second hole and he hit his drive 50 yards left of the 12th fairway. Starting to feel like Dove Mountain again, sans the jumping cholla and snow.
(2:59 p.m. ET) If you picked Tiger Woods for low-ball honors at Doral you're off to a slow start.

Graeme McDowell rolls in a 30-footer at the 10th, the group's first hole, and Phil Mickelson matched him from 11 feet while Woods missed his 10-footer at the first.
(2:48 p.m. ET) A high-profile swing coach mused before Tiger Woods teed off for his delayed first round at Doral that this is an important round.

For Woods?

'No, (Sean) Foley,' he said.

We may have taken this swing spat thing too far.
(2:08 p.m. ET) Play is scheduled to restart at 2:30 p.m. ET after a storm blew through, and down, parts of Doral, but the damage is still on the ground.

According to tournament director Eddie Carbone 17 trees, two television towers, a ShotLink tower and the 18th hole scoreboard were blown down by winds that gusted to 55 mph.

“We’re not sure if we can rebuild (the leaderboard) right now,” Carbone said.


(1:20 p.m. ET) The storm has moved on but the wait continues at Doral. According to officials the practice tee will reopen at 1:30 p.m. (ET) and first-round play is scheduled to restart at 2:30 p.m., which means the three-ball marquee of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Graeme McDowell will tee off at about 2:35 p.m.
(11:48 a.m. ET) For all those waiting for the Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Graeme McDowell three-ball at Doral, the wait will continue.

Officials blew the weather warning horn at 11:46 a.m., five minutes before the power threesome was scheduled to tee off.