Ford C'ship: Woods takes one-shot lead

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:38 IST

Tiger Woods birdied five holes in a six-hole stretch to take a one-shot lead over Phil Mickelson after the first round of the Ford Championship at Doral.

Ford C'ship: Woods takes one-shot lead

Miami:

Tiger Woods birdied five holes in a six-hole stretch to take a one-shot lead over Phil Mickelson and four others after the first round of the Ford Championship at Doral. In a balmy start to the Florida swing of the USPGA Tour's schedule, Woods reached the 603-yard 12th hole in two for his second of five birdies. He picked up strokes on Nos. 14, 15 and 16 to sit one shot ahead of Colombia's Camila Villegas, Rich Beem, Ryan Palmer, Mark Wilson and Mickelson. "This guy Tiger seems to play well every day, every week,'' Mickelson said. "I'm just trying to keep pace. I'm trying to maybe have another shot at dueling out with him on Sunday, and I'm glad that he's playing well. I've got to do my part and stay with him,'' he added. The first round rekindled memories of last year, when Woods won a showdown with Mickelson, pulling ahead on a 30-foot birdie putt at No. 17 while Mickelson lipped out a birdie chip on the last hole. On Thursday, 60 players broke 70 and 116 players were at par or better. Woods got off to a great start on a tropical afternoon Thursday with birdies on three of his first four holes, including a tee shot to within a foot on the 222-yard fourth hole. Mickelson, who stated on the back nine, made three straight birdies around the turn, and while his gallery was about one-fourth the size of those watching Woods, they were as passionate as ever. Villegas, one of several promising rookies, overcame a bogey-4 at No. 4 with an eagle on the 528-yard, par-5 eighth and birdied four straight holes until settling for a two-putt par from about 8 feet on the 18th. That put him at 65. Beem also eagled No. 8 but bogeyed the par-4 16th before finishing with consecutive pars in his round. And Palmer three times recorded consecutive birdies to stay within a stroke of the lead. Wilson was seven under until a bogey at 17. He recovered with a birdie on the last hole. With a mild breeze in the afternoon and soft conditions, conditions were ripe for low scores. "If you shoot even par, you're going to get run over here,'' Woods said. Steve Elkington has been playing Doral every year since 1988, and after a 67, he kept his optimism in check. (AP)

Topics : Golf Tiger Woods
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