MIAMI: Harris English grabbed the clubhouse lead while world number one Tiger Woods struggled Thursday until darkness halted the first round of the storm-hit $9 million World Golf Championships Cadillac Championship.
English fired a three-under par 69 and was among only six players to complete 18 holes at Doral’s revamp Blue Monster course, where a severe storm stopped play in the afternoon.
Four others—Italy’s Francesco Molinari and Americans Jason Dufner, Hunter Mahan and Patrick Reed—were still on the course at three-under when darkness fell. Dufner had two holes to finish while Molinari had three, Mahan had four and Reed had seven remaining.
“I really started hitting my driver well. That first nine was really tough. The wind got going,” English said. “I kind of got rolling early on the second side.”
Woods, who withdrew in the final round from last week’s PGA Tour Honda Classic with back spasms, shared 47th on two-over par when play was halted, having just made a bogey at the par-5 10th by missing an eight foot par putt.
Woods, who made eight pars and a bogey at the par-3 fourth on the front nine, showed no sign of pain but faces 26 holes on Friday.
“Should be a long day for all of us,” Woods said. “Hopefully (Friday) I can get back out there in the morning, play well and work back to even par by the end of the first round, then shoot a low one in the afternoon.”
English, a 24-year-old American, won his first US PGA title last year at Memphis and took his second win last November at Mayakoba in one of the first events of this season under the US tour’s new scheduling format.