Thursday, March 11, 2010

Golf Magazine's Mike Walker live blogged the first round of the WGC CA-Championship. LeaderboardPhotos: Gear at Doral | Course Profile | TV Schedule6:05 p.m. That's it for the Live Blog today. We have the beginning of what could be a memorable tournament at Doral with names like Els, Singh, Casey, Harrington, Mickelson all in position. As Vijay's caddie might say, "Tiger who?"Thanks to Stephanie Wei of Wei Under Par for joining me, and all of you for reading and commenting. Sports Illustrated's Farrell Evans will be here tomorrow. See you later!6:03 p.m. Ernie Els makes his 5-foot par save and finishes at 5-under, while Sergio converts his up-and-down of the year and stays at 2-over.6 p.m. Sergio Garcia's next Golf Magazine Cover Story: "How to Save Par from the Grandstand Tunnel!" Somehow Serge (2-over) flips a wedge from under the rafters on 18 onto the edge of the green where it rides a ridge to about four feet.5:59 p.m. Leaderboard update:

Schwartzel -5 F

Els -5 through 17

Allenby -4 F

Singh -4 F

Casey -4 through 17 5:56 p.m. After almost hitting his second shot in the water, co-leader Els is now on the green and looking a par-saving putt on 18.5:53 p.m.  We have a leader in the clubhouse in the Jim Furyk Nickname contest.Michael Elias suggests: "Fists of Furyk."If anyone can top that, I'll find something in the ravaged Golf.com swag closet to send you.5:50 p.m. Co-leader Ernie Els (5-under) hits his drive on 18 as far right as you can without leaving the property.5:45 p.m. Stephanie Wei asks: Here's a better question than "who the hell is Charl Schwartzel" -- who the hell is Alistair Presnell??A. A character in Brideshead RevisitedB. Rules Secretary, the Royal & AncientC. Ian Poulter's caddieThe answer is none of the above. Stephanie says Presnell (even today) "placed second on the Australasia Tour money
list and won the Moonah Classic which is co-sanctioned by the Nationwide
Tour. Apparently that gains an exemption over being ranked number 51 in
the world rankings. Field requirements seem a little off."
5:43 p.m. Another Live Blog favorite J.B. Holmes finishes with a 3-under 69. 5:41 p.m. Vijay on his tee shot on 18. "I'm glad it was today and not Sunday."5:35 p.m. Alex H writes: What
happened to Kaymer's 69? The leaderboard now shows him at 70 - did the
wind blow away the scorer's tent and jumble the numbers?
Don't know what happened but Martin Kaymer did finish with 70, one eagle, three birdies and three bogeys. I saw Kaymer a few months ago and asked him about his impressions of the U.S. Tour vs. the Euro Tour. The general thinking is that the European players are closer, but I asked Kaymer about that and he disagreed.I get along with the American players very well. My first year at
Doral, Zach Johnson came up to me and said, "Hey, if there's anything I
can do to help you just let me know." The players were very nice. I get
along with Phil Mickelson very well--we're members of the same golf
club in AZ. I wouldn't say that Europeans are better or worse. You can't
say in general.
5:31 p.m. Double-bogey for Vijay on 18. He finishes 4-under and tied for second. That can happen on 18 here, still a great round for Vijay.5:28 p.m. After a drop and pushing a hybrid right, Vijay finally gets on the green and he'll have a longish putt for bogey. It's a cruel game.5:23 p.m. Els makes birdie in 16 and gets to 5-under.Reader Andy writers: Nice to
see old school names near the top - big easy (els), big fijian (singh),
and furyk. he doesn't have a nick name but we'll call him big furyk
from hereon in
Agreed, but we can do better than "Big Furyk," right? Anyone? 5:21 p.m. Vijay puts his drive in the water on 18. 5:16 p.m. Phil tells The Golf Channel that he put the second driver in his bag because it drives the ball lower and shorter than his normal driver. Phil said his caddie Bones McKay suggested putting the second driver in the bag to keep it down in Doral's windy conditions.5:14 p.m. Vijay's putt was longer than it looked from a distance (probably about three feet) but he drains it anyway. Alone in the lead at 6-under. 5:11 p.m. Paul Casey (2-under) hits a nice approach into 15 and sets himself up another birdie chance.Casey had a great answer when asked what he'd say to Tiger Woods on the first tee: "Nike 1, blue dot."5:08 p.m. Welcome back! Vijay sticks his approach on 17 to about 10 inches. That's one way to improve your putting.5:04 pm. A miserable-looking Sergio Garcia is 2-over through 14.4:59 p.m. Ernie Els makes birdie on 14 and gets to 4-under. I've stopped hoping for Ernie to return to the game's elite, but other than Tiger and Phil, Ernie is the only other guy on Tour with superstar presence. There's just something different about him. A big guy with a personality to match. It would be great for the game for Ernie to get a big win like Doral.4:58 p.m. Another birdie chance for Vijay. Makes a good stroke at it and just misses. That's progress. Still tied for lead at 5-under.4:55 p.m. Steve Stricker is 1-over through 13. I know he's No. 2 in the official rankings, but in the real world rankings, I'm sticking with Phil and his 37 Tour wins and three majors as No. 2.4:53 p.m. How's this for a round? Live Blog favorite Martin Kaymer has one eagle, three birdies and two bogeys. In sixth place after a 69 today.4:49 p.m. The day after Howard Stern's Tiger Woods Mistress Beauty Pageant, Stephanie Wei discovers "Cheatah Woods" Hot Sauce. Is it ever going to stop? It's been more than three months now!4:40 p.m. Another nice par save for Phil, who finishes the day at 1-under, just fine considering the nasty conditions today.Even Phil-skeptic Stephanie Wei was impressed.Mickelson got a new putting stroke! At least for one hole. 4:38 p.m. Vijay missed a short birdie putt on 13. Let's hope he gets his confidence back with the putter because this is painful to watch.4:34 p.m. Kenny Perry (2-over) is running a little hot after a missed putt on 14. The planes from nearby Miami International Airport sounded like a plane was landing on the Blue Monster's first fairway.4:33 p.m. Y.E. Yang (1-over), via Twitter, on the trials and tribulations of a PGA Tour playerwell - on top of a rough round - need to do random drug test - and I just pee'd on 17 !!4:31 p.m. Playing 8 as his 17th hole, Phil makes birdie and gets back under par.4:28 p.m. Take me to your leaders:Vijay Singh (!)  5-under through 13Francisco Molinari 5-under through 16Charl Swartzel 5-under through 17Allenby and Bill Hass are T2 at 4-under.4:26 p.m. Allenby finishes bogey-bogey-bogey-bogey and falls to second place at 4-under. Still, you're allowed to smile after a 66.4:21 p.m. Dog fighting is obviously the most repulsive event in sports, but I'd put the Tavistock Cup's gated-community showdown of the filthy rich down at a distant second.4:15 p.m. Reader Penny writes: McIlroy seems to be struggling again today. I guess that pep talk from Jack didn't take.It was either that or the haircut. Rory is 4-over through 16, playing in the marquee group with Phil Mickelson.4:10 p.m. Good showing by Jim Furyk today, he's on the 18th tee at 2-under. Phil is 1-over after a bogey on 16. (Live Blog user error, Phil made par, still even)4:08 p.m. Allenby misses a short putt on 17, now tied with Molinari, Schwarzel and Singh at 5-under.4:03 p.m. Vijay gets to 5-under through 12 but he looks as comfortable over a three-footer as those EOD guys in The Hurt Locker.3:58 p.m. Play canceled at the Puerto Rico Open. There goes my Thursday night.3:57 p.m. Anthony Kim now 2-under after birdie on 14.3:55 p.m. Allenby falls back to earth with bogeys on 15 and 16. Now 6-under, just one-stroke lead.3:51 p.m. Friend of the Blog and recent Florida transplant Anne Szeker writes: I am fully confident that Matt Kuchar (3-under through 16) is eventually going to lead me to fantasy golf greatness this year.That's what happens when you move to Florida, Anne, your mind turns to mush.3:48 p.m. Phil makes another nice par save on 15. Stephanie Wei of Wei Under Par thinks Phil's inaccuracy off the tee is placing a lot of pressure on his putting game.Uh, apparently Phil putting in two drivers in
his bag isn't helping him hit fairways? Every time they show him he's
in the trees! I almost feel like he's trying too hard to find a "fix."
3:45 p.m. Leaderboard updateAllenby -7 through 15Schwartzel -5 throughF. Molinari -5 under through 13V. Singh -4 through 10B. Hass -4 under through 113:43 p.m. Padraig Harrington (1under) looks like he's going to blow off the 10th green.3:39 p.m. Reader Kevin likes my Masters pick:AK is a
solid bet for the annual augusta putting contest, although Camilo had a
hot putter last week so you never know. Playing well at Augusta seems
to come down to experience about the course, solid iron play, and
knowing where the best places are to putt from. As an example, in the
water on #12 is a very tricky putt to read...but going safely to the
right of the flag and at the middle of the green will leave a make-able
birdie putt.
3:34 p.m. Sergio Garcia (1-over) sighting on 9. Only 30 years old and it feels like Serge belongs to another generation than AK, Rory, Fowler and even 28-year-old Villegas.3:32 p.m. Phil lips out a chance to get under par. Still even through 14.3:27 p.m. Longtime Friend of the Blog Stephanie Wei of  Wei Under Par checks in with an observation about Anthony Kim. You know what's been bugging me about AK? He's
been putting together three good rounds and missing "moving" day (76 at
Phoenix Open and 73 at Honda Classic). Any word from Robert Allenby if
AK was hitting it hard on Friday nights? Seriously though, it's weird.
3:23 p.m. Another par from Robert Allenby, 8-under through 14 with a three-shot lead.3:18 p.m. Liz writes to defend Ian Poulter's sense of style: The pink
shoes are great. As are Phil's blue pants. If Jim Furyk is pulling off
a purple shirt I think the color is here to stay. Even at your muni.

3:15 p.m. 3:11 p.m. Who the hell is Charl Scwartzel? The 25-year-old South
African is World No.35, has already won twice on European Tour this
season and his manager Chubby Chandler predicts he'll be a Top 10 player in the next two years. Chandler should know -- he manages McIlroy, Westwood and Els.
who didn't know the difference between Britain and Ireland 3:08 p.m. Lee Westwood 3:05 p.m. 3:01 p.m. 2:57 p.m. The Cove 2:55 p.m.
1)
phil no thrill. I think the man is going through some difficult
personal times with both his wife and mother having breast cancer. even
though progress is good, it still is an ongoing battle and emotional
drain. how do I know? because I'm going through the same issue
2) camilo - top 20 most likely. sooner or later he's going to crash,
the man needs to rest. I'll be very impressed if he gets top 10
3) how can tiger go from saying "don't know when i'm going to play
golf but won't rule out this year" to "hank, come down it's time to get
to work" in a matter of weeks. must be some a really good therapist he
went to. how many mistresses did tiger have - 14? one for celebrating
every major. let's hope he doesn't win augusta
4) it's the same answer to, "why did nyc courses open last weekend
when the greens are in horrible condition?". because it's new yawk
2:51 p.m. 2:50 p.m. 2:46 p.m. 2:42 p.m. The PGA Tour, these guys have accents. 2:37 p.m. With the wind gusting well over 30 miles per hour, defending WGC-CA
champion Phil Mickelson has decided to add a second driver to his bag.
Butch Harmon, Mickelson's swing coach, told me on the driving range,
"One hits it higher and the other hits it lower; that's really the only
difference." However, he added that the lower-hitting driver is also
slightly shorter.
2:33 p.m. 2:31 p.m. 2:23 p.m. Allenby
is out of the gate hot, how's his pencil grip looking? Doral has pretty
flat greens, at least on Tiger 10 on the Wii :) With the wind gusting
up to 30 mph surely these guys aren't shooting at pins?
Yup, Allenby is now 7-under after a smooth birdie putt on 10 but we've all seen this movie before. Smart move checking out the course on the Wii ($200). A round at the actual Blue Monster would cost you a preposterous $325! 2:19 p.m. Due
to the threatening weather forecast for the area on Friday, March 12,
second-round tee times for the 2010 World Golf Championships-CA Championship
have been changed from 11:25 a.m.-1:10 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.-9:55 a.m.
2:14 p.m.

1 Robert Allenby -6 through 9

T2 Francesco Molinari -3 through 7

T2 Graeme McDowell -3 through 7

T2 Steve Marino -3 through 6 (Double bogey)

T2 Geoff Ogilvy -3 through 4 2:10 p.m. Mickelson must feel comfortable to Doral because The Golf Channel reports that he didn't show up in Miami until last night. 2:05 p.m. How's Phil doing? He's 1-under through nine and wearing Smurf-blue pants that Rickie Fowler would love. Good enough for T8. Robert Allenby is leading the pack at 6-under through nine and there's a group at 3-under in second.2 p.m. Welcome back to the Golf.com Live Blog for the WGC-CA Championship at Doral in Miami. We've got a lot to talk about: 1. Can defending champion Phil Mickelson get his season on track/ 2. Will local fave Camilo Villegas continue his breakthrough run? 3. What do you think of reports that Tiger Woods is planning a return to golf soon, possibly at Bay Hill in two weeks or even the rich-guy-only Tavistock Cup on Monday? and 4. Why can't I get the Golf Channel in HD in New York City? Stick around this afternoon for leaderboard updates, reports from the course and Tiger talk.

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