English tops rain-affected round

European Tour

Harris English grabbed the clubhouse lead but inclement weather had the final say on a shortened day at the WGC Cadillac Championship.

English was among only six players to complete the first round at Doral before an intense storm swept though the course.

His three under 69 consisted of a couple bogeys and a good run of five birdies, including a massive 45 footer on the par three ninth, in his final nine holes.

“I really started hitting my driver well,” said English, who won his first PGA title last year at Memphis.

“That first nine was really tough. The wind got going. I kind of got rolling early on the second side. We were pretty much running to the tee on nine,” said the American, who started on the back nine.

“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, is tough to do.”

“Mr. Trump wanted a very tough test on the Blue Monster, and I think that’s what he got,” concluded the 24-year-old.

American’s Jason Dufner, Hunter Mahan and Patrick Reed, as well as Italy’s Francesco Molinari, join English on three under, though none of them finished their rounds.

Dufner, who has two holes to play, got off to a great start with four consecutive birdies but missed his chance to clinch the outright lead when he pushed a six-foot par putt wide on the seventh green.

World number one Tiger Woods did not have a great day on the course and was sitting on two-over par when play was halted. Woods made bogeys on the par three fourth and the par five tenth, which was also his final hole. He will resume on Friday with eight holes to play.

“I’m ready to go back out tomorrow and play well,” said the 38-year-old.

Rory McIlroy endured a roller-coaster round after five birdies and four bogeys left the Northern Irishmen on one under with four holes to play.

Meanwhile, Adam Scott, who could overtake Woods at the top of the rankings if a bags a win at the Blue Monster, sank two birdies in ten holes before the storm came in, leaving him in contention for the lead.

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