Four share lead at windy Doral
Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Hunter Mahan all carded 2-over 74s on Friday and they share the lead after two rounds at the WGC-Cadillac Championship.
Those three were joined atop the leaderboard at 1-under-par 143 by fellow American Patrick Reed, who carded a 3-over 75 at windy Doral.
Jamie Donaldson had the low round of the day with his 2-under 70. That helped him climb into a tie for fifth at even-par 144. He stands alongside Graeme McDowell (71), Francesco Molinari (75) and Rory McIlroy (74).
Zach Johnson (75) and Bubba Watson (72) share ninth place at 1-over 145, and they are one stroke clear of Jason Dufner (77), Charl Schwartzel (76), Brandt Snedeker (73), Chris Kirk (71), Harris English (77) and Hyung-Sung Kim (74).
Tiger Woods, who won this title for the seventh time last year, managed a 1- over 73 in the second round. Despite the over par round, Woods jumped 28 places into a share of 25th.
The first and second rounds were both completed on Friday. The first round had a long weather delay on Thursday and was ultimately suspended due to darkness.
Both rounds saw scores soar on Friday as the wind gusted well over 30 mph. The second round alone saw a record 113 golf balls find water.
Johnson, who won the WGC-HSBC Champions event at the end of last year, birdied the fifth, but gave that shot back when he bogeyed No. 7.
After four pars in a row around the turn, Johnson moved to 4-under with a 14- foot birdie putt at the 12th. He failed to get up and down for par from a bunker on 13 and dipped to minus-3.
Johnson hit what looked to a fine tee shot on the par-3 15th. His tee shot landed in the middle of the green, but took a hard bounce then rolled across the putting surface down a hill and into the water.
He managed to get up and down for bogey, but his lead was down to one. Johnson chipped to seven feet on the 18th green. After seeing Jordan Spieth's putt from a similar line slide right, Johnson's putt went the other way and stayed above ground. He tapped in for bogey to create the 4-way tie for the lead.
"I played pretty well. A 74 is about as high as it was going to go. I think I played a lot better than that," Johnson admitted. "It's really tough."
Kuchar, who played alongside Johnson for the first two rounds, opened with a birdie on the first. However, he bogeyed four of seven holes from the second to slide to even-par for the tournament.
Around the turn, the 2013 WGC-Accenture Match Play champion traded a birdie for a bogey from the 12th and again from the 15th. At the 18th, Kuchar's second shot from the right rough stopped within a foot of the hole and he kicked that in for a closing birdie.
"It was a demanding day. It was really kind of touch and go, particularly on the greens. It felt like the ball could roll at any moment," said Kuchar. "It was nasty."
Mahan played the back nine first in round two and bogeyed the 10th and 18th. In between, he birdied Nos. 12 and 16 as he headed to the front side at minus-3.
The 2012 Accenture Match Play winner found water off the tee on the par-3 fourth and that led to a triple-bogey, which dropped him to even-par. Mahan stumbled a bogey on the seventh.
Mahan knocked his second shot at the par-5 eighth, his 17th, within five feet. He rolled that in for eagle and a share of the lead.
Reed led by one after the first round ended, but he dropped off the pace with a double-bogey on the third. He got one stroke back with a birdie on the fifth, and regained a piece of the lead when he birdied the 10th.
The 23-year-old tumbled out of the lead with back-to-back bogeys at 13 and 14. After three pars in a row, he bogeyed the last and was the first one in the clubhouse at minus-1.
"Anytime you're playing on the PGA Tour, especially a World Golf Championship, it's fun and you can enjoy it. To be out here grinding, yeah it's tough, but at the same time, it's only going to make you tougher," Reed said.
NOTES: The average score for the second round was just under 76 ... Second- round leaders have won seven of the 14 PGA Tour events this season.
03/07 20:12:28 ET