By Steve Keating DORAL, Florida (Reuters) - American Harris English birdied his final hole in fading light to grab the clubhouse lead at the weather hit WGC-Cadillac Championship on Thursday with most of the field still on the course when play was suspended due to darkness. English, who returned a three-under 69 on the revamped Blue Monster course was joined at the top of a crowded leaderboard with compatriots Hunter Mahan, Jason Dufner, Patrick Reed and Italian Francesco Molinari also on three-under, though they still have to complete their first rounds.
Brett Rumford's day at the Cadillac Championship started, of course, with a tee shot. Three balls into the water later, the right rough probably never looked so good to Rumford, who made an 11 on the par-5 10th hole to start his round Thursday. When he returns to Trump National Doral on Friday morning - a rain storm stopped play for nearly 2 1/2 hours, and darkness kept 62 of the 68 players in the field from finishing their opening rounds - a 12-foot birdie putt awaits him on the par-3 fourth. --- SHANKING SWEDE: Henrik Stenson hit another errant shot at Doral.
Tiger Woods only made it through 10 holes Thursday - this time because of the weather, not his back. The debut of the new Blue Monster, and the return of Woods, received an incomplete grade Thursday when the opening round of the Cadillac Championship was halted more than two hours because of menacing thunderstorms. He was 2-over par through 10 holes, ending the day with a wedge that came up some 20 yards short of his target, leading to a three-putt for bogey from about 55 feet. Jason Dufner was going along beautifully for 10 holes until he struggled to find fairways in a crosswind.
There were 27 fans in the gallery when Tiger Woods teed off on the eighth hole Thursday, most other fans having long left Doral because of an afternoon downpour. Those who left early didn't miss anything from the world's No. 1 player.
Brian Stuard birdied seven his first 12 holes in windy conditions Thursday to take the first-round lead in the Puerto Rico Open. He also had a strong run in January, fishing sixth in the Sony Open in Hawaii and sixth the next week in the Humana Challenge in California. ''I putted really good to start off the year and then kind of last few weeks not quite as good and then good today.'' Jason Gore and Danny Lee shot 67, and Y.E. Yang was another stroke back along with Ricky Barnes, William McGirt, Tim Petrovic, Chesson Hadley, Eric Axley and Ben Martin. Puerto Rico's Erick Morales, playing on a sponsor exemption, had a 71.
DORAL, Florida (Reuters) - First round action at the WGC-Cadillac Championship resumed on Thursday after dangerous weather had halted play for over two hours. Violent thunderstorms and a tornado watch forced organizers to blow the horn and clear the Blue Monster Course with American Jason Dufner sitting atop the leaderboard at five under through 10 holes. Russell Henley, fresh off Sunday's Honda Classic triumph, continued his good form and is sitting one shot back at four under after 10 holes. ...
Tiger Woods only made it through six holes Thursday until he walked off the golf course - along with the other 67 players at Doral. The opening round of the Cadillac Championship was delayed for more than two hours Thursday because of a large band of thunderstorms that eventually dumped rain on the new Blue Monster at Trump National Doral. PGA champion Jason Dufner ran off four straight birdies at the start of his round, and then made birdie on the par-5 first hole to reach 5-under par when the round was halted. He was one shot ahead of Russell Henley, coming off a win last week in the Honda Classic.
Tom Watson's United States team will go into the 2014 Ryder Cup in Scotland "like a wounded animal" after snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in Illinois two years ago, said Europe captain Paul McGinley. The Americans, under skipper Watson's predecessor Davis Love III, had one hand on the trophy when they took a 10-6 lead into the final day at Medinah, only for Jose Maria Olazabal's side to stage a remarkable comeback to win by 14 1/2 points to 13 1/2. "All three of us are under no illusions how strong the American team is going to be," McGinley told reporters on Thursday after naming fellow Irishman Des Smyth and 2002 skipper Sam Torrance as his deputies.