In fierce and relentless wind on the TPC Blue Monster, Adam Scott kept the ball in play and then hung on for dear life for a 6-under-par 66 that gave him a share of the lead with Jason Dufner in the Cadillac Championship.
DORAL, Fla. — Playing only his sixth round of the year, Adam Scott faced a strong test Thursday at Doral and never looked better.
In fierce and relentless wind on the TPC Blue Monster, Scott kept the ball in play and then hung on for dear life for a 6-under-par 66 that gave him a share of the lead with Jason Dufner in the Cadillac Championship.
“When you’re in the fairway on a day like today, you get a chance to hit it somewhere near the hole, give yourself an opportunity,” Scott said. “If you’re in the rough, it’s very hard to even just hit the green, let alone give yourself a chance. I took advantage of the good shots early on, and then battled my way in from there.”
It was a battle all day for Rory McIlroy in his first event at No. 1 in the world. He twice flirted with the water, had a three-putt bogey and wound up with a 73.
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Tiger Woods wasn’t much better. He began his round with a tap-in eagle on the par-5 first hole, but narrowly missed the fairways and had a tough time figuring out the wind and whether the ball would jump out of the rough. Woods badly misjudged the line of his chip on the 18th hole and closed with a bogey for a 72.
Only a dozen players managed to break 70, and a dozen more broke par. The average score was 72.7, and no hole was more terrifying that the par-4 18th, which was 471 yards dead into the wind, water hugging the entire left side of the hole and the front of the green.
The average score was 4.74, which was more than three of the par 5s.
“I hit 3-wood into 18, par 4, and 7-iron into the first, which is a par 5,” Luke Donald said after a 70. “Just a beast of a hole today.”
Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and Thomas Bjorn were at 68, while the group at 69 included PGA champion Keegan Bradley, Steve Stricker and Kyle Stanley of Gig Harbor.
“The course is playable. You can see it in the scores,” Stricker said. “It’s still playable, whether we have this kind of wind or not. So it’s manageable out there, and you just have to play hard and play well.”
• Matt Jones and George McNeill topped the leaderboard at 6-under 66 in strong wind in the PGA Tour’s Puerto Rico Open in Rio Grande. Ben Curtis was a stroke back at 67.
Former Husky Richard H. Lee shot a 71. Ex-Husky Troy Kelly and Kirk Triplett, a graduate of Pullman High School, shot 73s.
• PGA Tour player Jarrod Lyle, 30, of Australia has had a recurrence of leukemia. Robert Allenby supports a cancer program in Australia where Lyle once was a patient. Allenby said he just received word that Lyle had a recurrence and is to start chemotherapy as soon as possible. Allenby also said Lyle’s wife was due to deliver their first child in a few weeks, but she was being induced immediately.