The WGC-Cadillac Championship at The Blue Monster has a star studded field of the worlds best golfers, and as a fan, I got everything I was hoping for on Thursday afternoon, even lessons on how to hit a ball off of a cart path. The leader board during the first round, looked a little like watching a stock car race. Every time The Golf Channel put it up, someone else was leading the tournament. When the checkered flag dropped, there were five players with a share of first place.
Action got started on Thursday morning at the Trump Doral Golf Course with 47 of the worlds top 50 players, and the finest weather South Florida can provide in March. With temperatures in the mid 70′s, and no wind, we knew going in, the scores would be good. The Blue Monster is a tough golf course that is built for accuracy, but needs some wind for protection, and got none.
Tiger Woods, Freddie Jacobson(formerly Fredrik Jacobson), Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell, and Bubba Watson are your leaders. All shot -6 under 66′s in round one. This marks the first time in history Sergio Garcia, and Tiger Woods have ever had the lead together in a golf tournament. Tiger, playing along with Rory McIlroy, and Luke Donald, rolled in nine birdies on the day, serving everyone notice, whatever was wrong with his game at The Honda last week, was fixed, and if they wanted to win this tournament, they would have to deal with him.
One shot back at -5 under par, are Hunter Mahan, Phil Mickelson, Peter Hanson, and Steve Stricker. Mahan was alone at the top for part of the afternoon after making the turn at 31, but traded three bogeys for thee birdies on the back nine, only managing par, to fall out of the lead. Mickelson shot a bogey free round, with a phenomenal chip off the cart path at the 17th hole for his last of five birdies on the day.
Dustin Johnson had either a share of the lead, or had the lead outright for most of the day, and at one time had it to -7 under par. A double bogey, bogey finish would drop him back to -4 under par, and in a tie with five other players who are two shots back.
First round action on Thursday only has me waiting to see what is going to happen on Friday. Players in this tournament do not have to face a cut, so all will be around for the weekend. With this many stars in the lineup, and so close to the lead, it should prove to get better when we get into the weekend. I can’t wait for it to get started.
Follow us on Twitter @ProGolfNow