Five share lead at weather hit WGC-Cadillac

Fri Mar 7, 2014 2:04am EST
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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.

The redesigned course was put to an early test as a violent storm swept across south Florida drenching the Doral resort causing a two hour, 24 minute weather delay that allowed only six of the 68 players to complete their rounds.

English, who has four top 10 finishes in his last five PGA Tour starts, ended his day in spectacular style rolling a 47-foot birdie putt on the par-three ninth to complete an error free back nine.

"We were pretty much running to the tee on nine." English told reporters. "Jonas (Blixt) had just birdied eight and he said he wanted to hit, and Brendon (De Jonge) and I were very happy with that.

"It was getting really dark, very quickly, but I wanted to finish the hole, because it really changes the way you approach the day, waking up and playing one hole at 8:00 in the morning and then waiting around for three or four hours for your tee time. (It) is tough to do.

"That way in the morning, we can have a normal day."

Dufner, who got his round off to a blazing start with four successive birdies from the 11th, missed a chance to hold the outright lead when his six-foot par putt on the seventh rolled past the cup to take a bogey with two holes still to play.   Continued...