Tiger Woods, seeking his second U.S. PGA Tour victory of the season, is in a five-way tie for the lead entering today’s second round at the Cadillac Championship.
Woods, the No. 2 player in the Official World Golf Ranking, had nine birdies and three bogeys for a 6-under-par 66 in calm conditions yesterday at the TPC Blue Monster course at Doral Resort and Spa in Miami. Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell and Freddie Jacobson are also 6-under.
“It’s got to blow here sometime,” Woods told the Golf Channel in a televised interview. “I don’t think we’re going to get all four days with wind like this. Today was as easy as it gets around this place.”
Winds in Miami are forecast to increase to about 8 miles per hour (13 kph) today, to 13 mph tomorrow and to 15 mph for the final round, with temperatures around 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 Celsius) on all three days, according to the Weather Channel.
The winner of the inaugural edition in 1999, the 37-year- old Woods has claimed the title five further times, most recently in 2007. Woods, who began this season with his eighth career win at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in January, won the last of his 16 World Golf Championships events at the Bridgestone Invitational in 2009. Geoff Ogilvy’s three WGC titles rank second behind Woods’s tally.
Woods has won the tournament twice, in 2002 and 2006, when leading after the first round, while his victory seven years ago was his last when leading after the opening day. Woods has had at least a share of the lead 28 times after the first round of a tournament and has converted 13 of those into victories.
Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker, Hunter Mahan and Peter Hanson are at 5-under, while 18 players are within three shots of the leaders.
Rory McIlroy, the world’s No. 1 player from Northern Ireland, is tied for 50th place after a 1-over 73. Last year he began with the same score before finishing the tournament in third place.
McIlroy, 23, is playing a week after quitting the Honda Classic eight holes into his second round. McIlroy was 7-over par at the time and cited wisdom-tooth pain for his withdrawal. He later apologized, saying he made a mistake and should have completed his round.
“My head was all over the place,” McIlroy told reporters. “I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself to perform and I’ve been working so hard and not really getting much out of it. You know, that’s just been the frustrating thing.”
The Cadillac Championship features a limited field of 65 of the top players in the world. The purse is $8.8 million, including $1.5 million for the winner, with no cut for weekend play and a paycheck for everyone who completes the four rounds.
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