DORAL, Fla. — Playing only his sixth round of the year, Adam Scott faced a strong test Thursday at Doral and never looked better.
In fierce and relentless wind on the TPC Blue Monster at Doral, Scott kept the ball in play and then hung on for dear life for a 6-under 66 that gave him a share of the lead with Jason Dufner in the Cadillac Championship.
It was a battle all day for Rory McIlroy in his first event at No. 1 in the world. He twice flirted with the water, had a three-putt bogey and wound up with a 73.
Tiger Woods wasn't much better. He began his round with a tap-in eagle on the par-5 first hole, but narrowly missed the fairways and had a tough time figuring out the wind and whether the ball would jump out of the rough. Woods badly misjudged the line of his chip on the 18th hole and closed with a bogey for a 72.
It wasn't a devastating start for either of them.
Only a dozen players managed to break 70, and a dozen more broke par. The average score was 72.7, and no hole was more terrifying that the par-4 18th, which was 471 yards dead into the wind, water hugging the entire left side of the hole and front of the green.
The average score was 4.74, which was more than three of the par 5s.
Charl Schwartzel and Thomas Bjorn were at 68, while the group at 69 included PGA champion Keegan Bradley and Steve Stricker, who was tied for the lead through 12 holes and dropped three shots in the final hour.
PUERTO RICO OPEN: At Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, Matt Jones and George McNeill topped the leaderboard at 6-under 66 in strong wind in the PGA Tour's Puerto Rico Open.Comment on this story
Jones, from Australia, eagled the par-5 second hole and had five birdies and a bogey on the Trump International course. McNeill, the former Florida State player who won the 2007 Frys.com Open for his lone PGA Tour title, had a bogey-free round.
Ben Curtis was a stroke back, and Jeff Overton, Todd Hamilton, Kevin Kisner and Daniel Summerhays followed at 68. Japanese star Ryo Ishikawa, playing the event for the first time after failing to qualify for the World Golf Championship event at Doral, shot a 70. Michael Bradley, the winner in 2009 and 2011, opened with a 72.