March 06, 2014

Play suspended in Round 1 with Tiger 2-over par

Tiger Woods showed no lingering affect from lower back spasms that caused him to withdraw last week during the final round of The Honda Classic. But, he wasn’t exactly thrilled about his start Thursday in the $9 million WGC-Cadillac Championship at newly renovated Trump National Doral in Miami, Fla.

While his body held up despite a 2 1/2 hour weather delay caused by thunderstorms, Tiger’s all-around play wasn’t sharp. He was 2-over par through 10 holes when play was suspended due to darkness, and miffed at himself after three-putting two-of-the-last three holes, both par-5s.

Woods, the defending champion, will complete Round 1 Friday morning, then begin his second round. Harris English is the clubhouse leader after shooting a 3-under-par 69. There are 19 players in the no-cut tournament in red figures.

“I felt good all day,” Woods said. “I’m ready to go back out tomorrow and play well.”

In order to rest his back and receive treatment, Tiger did not play a practice round. He walked the course Wednesday with caddie Joe LaCava to survey the major changes made by golf course designer Gil Hanse, and chipped and putted.

Paired with Adam Scott and Henrik Stenson on Thursday, Woods knocked his opening tee shot at the par-4 first hole in the right fairway bunker — one of three he would find during the day — but hit a nice recovery shot 16 feet from the pin and two-putted for a par. Tiger gave himself another good birdie chance at the par-4 second hole, hitting his approach to 13 feet but missed the putt.

At the par-4 third, Woods smoothed another nice approach from 173 yards to 13 feet but again two-putted. He sustained his first bogey at the 219-yard, par-3 fourth, where his tee shot carried over the green. Tiger then had a chip shot scoot 13 feet past the hole, and he two-putted.

Tiger followed with three-consecutive two-putt pars, missing birdie attempts at the par-4s from 17 feet at the fifth, 22 feet at the sixth and 66 feet at the seventh. At the latter, he made a 6-footer to save par.

Woods squandered his best birdie opportunity at the 549-yard, par-5 eighth. After driving in the first cut of the right rough, he hit a solid iron shot from 233 yards that landed on the green and rolled 32 feet past the pin. Tiger’s eagle try ran by four feet and he lipped out his birdie putt.

At the 205-yard, par-3 ninth, Woods hit a 5-iron that landed on the left portion of the green and then trickled into a bunker. He splashed his second shot four feet from the cup and made the putt to make the turn in 1-over 37.

With darkness setting in, Tiger drove into the right fairway bunker at the 608-yard, par-5 10th. From there, he hit a nice lay-up 132 yards from the green, but hit a poor approach that came up 55 feet short of the hole. Woods rolled his birdie putt eight feet by the cup and missed his par putt coming back.