Woods shoots 66, shares Doral lead


A star-studded field took full advantage of benign scoring conditions at the TPC Blue Monster Course Thursday, with five different players grabbing a share of the opening-round lead. Here's the skinny heading into Friday's second round at Trump Doral:

The leaderboard: Tiger Woods (-6), Freddie Jacobson (-6), Graeme McDowell (-6), Sergio Garcia (-6), Bubba Watson (-6), Phil Mickelson (-5), Steve Stricker (-5)

What it means: With winds failing to blow near Miami, the teeth were taken out of the 'Blue Monster,' and players were able take full advantage. Amid ideal scoring conditions, a shootout quickly broke out on a day when only 16 of 65 players shot over par during their opening rounds.

Round of the day: Grabbing a share of the lead without appearing to expend much effort, Woods carded nine birdies during his opening round, including five in a seven-hole stretch that began at No. 16. A three-time winner at Doral, he was able to play the four par-5 holes in 3 under Thursday.

Best of the rest: Garcia opened his round with a pair of birdies and was 4 under after just eight holes. The Spaniard added two more back-nine birdies to join the pack of co-leaders after the opening round, as both he and McDowell carded their 66s without recording a single bogey. 

Biggest disappointment: Rory McIlroy. On a day when most of the field was making birdies in bunches, the Ulsterman continued to struggle with ball control, especially off the tee. McIlroy hit just three of 14 fairways Thursday en route to a 1-over 73 while playing alongside Woods and Luke Donald.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Who will emerge from a crowded leaderboard? With winds not expected to arrive until the weekend, the second round should afford players another opportunity to make birdies early and often. With 15 players at 4 under or better after one round, the tournament is still very much up for grabs.

Shot of the day: After his drive caught the right side of the fairway on the par-5 10th, Jacobson put his second shot from 253 yards - over water - to within 14 feet. The putt fell for eagle, the Swede's second eagle in three holes, en route to an opening round of 6-under 66.

Quote of the day: “Whatever Stricks says, I want to do. That dude is one of the best putters that has ever lived.' - Woods, who took just 23 putts in his opening round after receiving an impromptu putting lesson from Stricker on the practice green Wednesday.