Thursday, January 18, 2018
Golf

Adam Scott takes lead at Doral

DORAL — A rare instance of Adam Scott seeming less than pleased Friday came after his first putt on the par-4 16th at Doral, when he miscalculated the speed and left the 30-footer well short.

That was after he drove the green on the 315-yard hole and had to merely settle for a two-putt birdie.

Otherwise, there wasn't much for Scott to dislike during the second round of the Cadillac Championship. His 6-under 66 got him to 10-under 134 and put the winner of last week's Honda Classic two shots clear of Rory McIlroy and defending champion Dustin Johnson at the midway point of the first World Golf Championships event of the season.

"Overall, it was a lot of good stuff," Scott said. "Enough quality shots and enough quality putts to negate a couple of mistakes out there, but they can easily happen on this golf course. So I'm glad there was enough of the good stuff to keep me up on top and kind of setting the pace after halfway."

Johnson shot a flawless 64, with eight birdies and no dropped shots on the way to the best round of the day. McIlroy shot 65.

First-round co-leaders Marcus Fraser and Scott Piercy both shot 77, an 11-shot swing from their opening round, and were 1 under.

McIlroy announced his arrival with a four-hole barrage of birdies on the front side, but the catalyst to all that, he said, was what came immediately before that streak. Going with a left-hand-low grip this week on the greens, McIlroy made a testy 7-footer to save par at the par-3 fourth hole, and the run of birdies started after that.

"There was a lot of big-momentum putts in there that I have not been holing," McIlroy said. "So to see those drop (Friday) and to be as comfortable as I was, it feels really good, and obviously I'm very happy with where I'm at going into the weekend."

Phil Mickelson got to 9 under at one point and led by three until the course's two shortest holes led to his undoing.

Mickelson three-putted from 55 feet for bogey on the 191-yard 13th and made an enormous blunder at the 139-yard 15th by putting his tee ball into the water. That led to double bogey, the only one made on the hole all day.

"I just kind of lost my train of thought," he said. "I'll be fresh and ready for the weekend. I feel like I'm driving the ball extremely well and my iron game is sharp. And even though that back nine wasn't what I wanted, it was kind of an anomaly."

LPGA: Ha Na Jang holed an eagle putt from off the green on her way to 6-under 66 and a share of the halfway lead with Mirim Lee (67) at 8-under 136 at the HSBC Champions in Singapore. Pornaning Phatlum (67) and Suzann Petterson (69) were a stroke behind. Rounds in the 70s pushed first-round co-leaders Candie Kung (72) and Minjee Lee (73) down the leaderboard at 5 under and 4 under, respectively. Seminole's Brittany Lincicome shot 74 and was 4 over.

PGA-LPGA event revival? A joint PGA-LPGA event could return to the schedule under what the tours are calling a strategic alliance they have formed that covers scheduling, marketing and television coverage. The tours said they would explore a joint event. Men and women played together in a mixed-team event in the 1960s and from 1976-99. The latter was played mostly at the Bardmoor Country Club in Largo and Innisbrook in Palm Harbor, and for most of its run was named for sponsor JCPenney.

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