Woods' putter shaky in Round 1 at Doral
Thursday, March 10, 2011
DORAL, Fla. – The full swing wasn’t the problem for Tiger Woods in the weather-delayed first round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship. The little one was.
Tied for 32nd at 1 under par through 15 holes during the incomplete round at Doral, Woods missed seven putts of 15 feet or less. In order: 7, 10, 15, 12, 8, 15 and 10.
The longest putt he made was a 7-footer for birdie on No. 3, his 12th hole of the day. It was one of his two birdies, the other coming on two putts from 18 feet on the short, par-5 first.
Woods, in the midst of an elaborate swing change, hit only one shot that would qualify as terrible – a pull-hook drive that ended up 50 yards left of the fairway on No. 12.
As for the others in the feature pairing, Phil Mickelson was 2 under and Graeme McDowell 1 under when play was stopped. Woods could have used McDowell’s putting stroke. McDowell had only eight putts in his first seven holes, one-putting six times, including a bomb for birdie on the opening hole, No. 10.
“We didn’t play our best,” Mickelson said, “but we didn’t play terrible to where we shot ourselves in the foot.”
They also didn’t keep pace. Doral’s Blue Monster couldn’t have played much easier after a storm during which wind gusted to 55 mph and blew over the main scoreboard, two television towers, a ShotLink tower and 17 trees. Two expensive TV cameras ended up in a lake.
But when play resumed, the wind died down and the field assaulted a soft golf course. Forty-four of the 66 players were under par when play stopped. Most remarkable was Hunter Mahan, seven under through 11 holes.