Mahan storms into lead at Doral
DORAL, Fla. — A storm packing 50 mph gusts toppled two TV towers, uprooted 17 young palm trees and sent the monster scoreboard at the 18th hole crashing to the ground Thursday at Doral.
When the Cadillac Championship resumed, Hunter Mahan and most of the world's best players tore up the golf course.
The raging wind was replaced by an eerie calm that lasted just long enough to take aim at the Blue Monster. Mahan birdied his opening four holes and kept right on rolling until the opening round was suspended by darkness.
He didn't miss a green, didn't come close to a bogey in his 11 holes and was atop the leaderboard at 7-under par.
"I guess with that storm, it brought some tranquility to the golf course," Mahan said. "Because there was just no wind. There was nothing out there."
There were plenty of low scores — but not from Tiger Woods.
In the group that generated most of the buzz and attracted the largest crowd, Woods and Phil Mickelson scrapped their way around Doral, while U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell kept up with his great short game.
Mickelson made a birdie late in his round and was at 2 under through 15 holes, one shot ahead of Woods and McDowell.
The other featured group — the top three players in the world ranking — lived up to their billing. Martin Kaymer, in his second week as the new No. 1, opened with three straight birdies and was 5 under through 10 holes. Match Play winner Luke Donald (No. 3) birdied the 10th hole to join him at 5 under, while Lee Westwood (No. 2) was at 4 under.
At 7 under, he was two shots clear of Charley Hoffman, who had a 5-under 67 and was among nine players in the 66-man field who were able to finish the round.
Among those at 5 under with still more golf to play in the first round were 19-year-old Ryo Ishikawa of Japan and 48-year-old Vijay Singh, who only got into this tournament last week. Nick Watney and Matt Kuchar also were at 5 under.
Puerto Rico Open
At Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, James Driscoll shot a 9-under 63 in the PGA Tour's Puerto Rico Open, missing a chance to break 60 when he played the final four holes in 2 over.
Driscoll eagled the par-5 fifth — his 14th hole of the day — to reach 11 under, but dropped strokes on the par-4 seventh and par-3 eighth at Trump International Golf Club-Puerto Rico. He had 10 birdies in a 12-hole stretch from No. 12 to No. 3 and ended up with a two-stroke lead over Will MacKenzie.
Driscoll matched the course record set by Derek Lamely in the third round of his victory last year.
Angel Cabrera, Omar Uresti and Brendan Steele opened with 66s, and Troy Matteson, Aron Price, Hunter Haas, Fabian Gomez and Cameron Tringale were another stroke back. Stewart Cink had a 69.
John Daly rallied to shoot a 70. He was 4 over after six holes.
Lamely had seven bogeys in a 76.