Four tied for lead after two rounds at Doral
THE NEW DORAL in raging wind looked a lot like an old U.S. Open yesterday.
Matt Kuchar played out of the rough to tap-in range for birdie on the 18th hole for a 2-over-par 74 that allowed him to join an exclusive group at the Cadillac Championship in Doral, Fla. - one of only four survivors to par.
The Blue Monster gobbled up just about everyone else.
Dustin Johnson bogeyed three of his last six holes for a 74. Patrick Reed made only two birdies in his round of 75. Hunter Mahan atoned for a triple bogey with a 4-iron into 5 feet for eagle on the eighth hole, giving him a 74. They joined Kuchar atop the leaderboard at 1-under 143.
"I felt stressed all day, because I knew every shot had 'big penalty' written all over it," Mahan said. "It was a really tough day. There wasn't an easy shot out there. One of those rounds where it could go south pretty fast, so you've got to grind it out and find a way to get a number up there and get to the weekend."
Only three players broke par in the second round. No one shot in the 60s. The average score was a fraction under 76.
"I don't think I've played in conditions this difficult in the U.S.," Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland said after a 71 that left him one shot behind. "It's an Open Championship day. It's a real Friday afternoon at St. Andrews in 2010 before they called it. It was hard out there - really, really hard."
Rory McIlroy (74), Francesco Molinari (75) and Jamie Donaldson of Wales (70) also were one behind at even-par 144.
Tiger Woods hit three balls in the water and scraped out a 73, thanks in part to a 90-foot birdie putt on the par-3 fourth hole. Phil Mickelson made back-to-back double bogeys, and then lay on his back along the bank of the fourth tee during a long wait. He got up, hit into the water and made another double bogey. Lefty shot 75.
Both were still in the mix, only six shots behind.
Woods was 7-over for the round after a wedge tumbled into the water on No. 3. But he made the long birdie on No. 4 and hit wedge to 3 feet for birdie on the next hole, and then managed to avoid bogeys the rest of the way.
In another tourney
* At Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, James Driscoll matched the Puerto Rico Open record with a 9-under 63 to take a one-stroke lead after the second round at Trump International. PGA Tour rookie Chesson Hadley was second after a 65.