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Bubba tames Doral, grabs lead

2012-03-10 15:39

Miami - Bubba Watson fired a 10-under 62 to seize the second round lead at the Cadillac Championship on Friday as he and playing partner Justin Rose delivered a barrage of birdies at Doral.

Watson had a 12-under total of 132, while England's Rose, who carded an eight-under 64, was in second place on 11-under 133.

Watson and Rose combined for a total of 17 birdies. Rose had eight of them with no bogeys while Watson had nine birdies and an eagle and just one bogey on another windy day in south Florida.

"They did everything right," said Mark Wilson, who had a ringside seat to the show as the third man in the group. "It was some of the best golf I've seen collectively between them."

Watson's eagle came at the par-five eighth, where he was in the fairway but decided his best line to the green was just past a palm tree. He smacked a three-iron that just missed the tree, carried the water and left him a six-footer.

"I took it right up the edge of that tree. There's a little tree there and it actually nicked that limb a little bit," Watson said.

"I hit it as hard as I could, just a low, what everybody calls a stinger. Hit as hard as I could low and knew it wasn't going to slice. So all I was protecting was the draw and it went dead straight and came off perfect. And the rest is history."

The eagle moved Watson one ahead of Rose, whose eight birdies included four in five holes around the turn, which the group made at 18 after teeing off on 10.

Even though he had his own great round going, Rose admitted he enjoyed watching Watson.

"I don't let it influence my game plan, the way I play the golf course, but definitely you keep one eye on him just out of interest," Rose said. "He's a fun guy to watch play golf.

"When he hits tee shots, there's a bit of disbelief and stuff like that, or he curves one, starts one in the trees and there's 'Ooohing' and 'Aahhhing' when it goes back into the fairways.

"No one knows what to expect and I think it's fascinating to watch."

Overnight co-leader Adam Scott of Australia shrugged off a double bogey to card a 68 that left him in third on 134. Scott, who stayed in touch with four birdies in his last six holes, was one shot in front of Sweden's Peter Hanson, who carded a 65 for 135.

"Right where I want to be," Scott said. "The guys shot some unbelievably good scores out there today, so I knew on that back nine as I was kind of falling a long way behind, I needed to step it up, and I was happy the putter really came through for me.

"Tomorrow, I'm just going to have to be really sharp, because there's no doubt again there are going to be low scores out there."

Denmark's Thomas Bjorn (68) and American Keegan Bradley (67) were tied for fifth on 136.

Amid the low scores, Tiger Woods carded a five-under 67, which left him seven off the lead on five-under 139.

"This is the highest score I could have shot today, for sure," said Woods, who remained pleased with his game.

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, playing his first event since ascending to the top of the world rankings, signed for a 69 that left him 10 adrift on two-under 142.

Leading second round scores on Friday in the $8.5 million World Golf Championships Cadillac Championship at Doral (USA unless noted, par-72):

132 - Bubba Watson 70-62

133 - Justin Rose (ENG) 69-64

134 - Adam Scott (AUS) 66-68

135 - Peter Hanson (SWE) 70-65

136 - Thomas Bjorn (DEN) 68-68, Keegan Bradley 69-67

137 - Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 68-69, Martin Kaymer (GER) 73-64, Charles Howell 70-67

138 - Jason Dufner 66-72, Zach Johnson 70-68, Bo Van Pelt 73-65, Kyle Stanley 69-69, Luke Donald (ENG) 70-68

139 - Yang Yong-eun (KOR) 72-67, Hennie Otto (RSA) 73-66, Steve Stricker 69-70, Tiger Woods 72-67, Matt Kuchar 72-67, Johnson Wagner 70-69

140 - Juvic Pagunsan (PHI) 69-71, Jason Day (AUS) 73-67, Miguel Angel Jimenez (ESP) 69-71

141 - Webb Simpson 75-66, Greg Chalmers (AUS) 71-70, Gary Woodland 71-70, K.J. Choi (KOR) 74-67

142 - Mark Wilson 72-70, Anders Hansen (DEN) 70-72, David Toms 72-70, Graeme McDowell (NIR) 75-67, Rory McIlroy (NIR) 73-69, Jonathan Byrd 72-70

AFP