WGC- Cadillac Championship; Tiger Woods claims share as Rory McIlroy battles back
Last Updated: March 8, 2013 5:19pm
Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods: Contrasting first round displays
Tiger Woods exploited idyllic conditions at TPC Blue Monster to claim a five-way share of the lead after the first round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship.
Woods, playing alongside Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald in a battle of the No 1s past and present, shot a sparkling round of 66 to set the pace alongside Graeme McDowell, Freddie Jacobson, Bubba Watson and Sergio Garcia.
First round leaderboard
(Usa unless stated)
-6 T Woods
-6 B Watson
-6 G McDowell (NI)
-6 F Jacobson (Swe)
-5 H Mahan
-5 P Hanson (Swe)
-5 P Mickelson
-5 S Stricker
Click here for collated scores
McIlroy endured another tough day but battled back gamely to finish seven shots behind Woods and co.
Playing for the first time since his hasty exit from the Honda Classic last week, McIlroy was three over par with three holes of the opening round to play, but birdied two of them to lift spirits heading into the second day.
The highlight of his round was a superb eagle at the par-five first hole, his 10th, but the swing problem he worked so hard on over the weekend is clearly still an issue.
In contrast, Woods carded nine birdies in his 66, while McDowell and Garcia both birdied the first two holes and completed encouraging bogey-free rounds.
Jacobson ignited his charge up the leaderboard in spectacular fashion as he carded two eagles in three holes around the turn, while Watson made a welcome return to form with seven birdies and just one mistake.
Peter Hanson and Phil Mickelson returned flawless cards to lie just one off the pace, with the likes of Ian Poulter and defending champion Justin Rose a stroke further back on four under.
Donald returned a 70 despite two sixes on his card, while Lee Westwood and Ernie Els matched McIlroy's 73. Ryder Cup team-mates Francesco Molinari and Paul Lawrie shared last place on six over.