Scott, Dufner in joint control at Doral
Australia's Adam Scott and American Jason Dufner produced smart golf to share the lead at six-under after the first round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship on Thursday while the big names toiled in windy conditions.
Newly-crowned world number one Rory McIlroy struggled to a one-over-par 73 while Tiger Woods, who shot the best final-round of his life last Sunday, ended even-par after mixing four bogeys with three birdies and an eagle on his opening hole.
"It was a difficult day," said Woods. "The wind was blowing putts around and it made for a very challenging round."
Scott, who tied for second at last year's Masters, made four birdies on the back nine, where he started, before an eagle on the par-five first and a birdie on the second.
His only blemish was a bogey on the sixth which allowed Dufner, who finished second at the PGA Championship last year, to grab a share of the lead with a birdie on his last hole, the par-three ninth, for a 66.
"I'm very satisfied with my round in these blustery conditions," said Scott. "I took advantage of my good play the first 11 or 12 holes and then managed to kind of get it up-and-down here or there coming in. It is a good way to start."
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Denmark's Thomas Bjorn and Masters champion Charl Schwartzel of South Africa were both two shots off the pace after shooting four-under 68s.
The top group featured McIlroy and world number two Luke Donald and third-ranked Lee Westwood.
While Donald posted a solid two-under 70, Westwood had to grind for a four-over 74.
Donald could regain the world number one ranking for McIlroy with a win here while Westwood would also reclaim his crown with a win if the Northern Irishman finished outside the top three.
Phil Mickelson, who is hoping to get himself back into the calculations this year, finished even-par after starting with bogeys on the 12th and 14th.
A double-bogey on the par-three fourth undid two birdies although the left-hander managed to regain the strokes to finish with a 72.
"It could have been better, could have been worse. I felt like I fought hard to keep myself in a position where if I get it going tomorrow I can get right back in it," said the three-times Masters winner.
Spain's Sergio Garcia (75) had a bizarre round as he was five-under at turn after mixing six birdies with one bogey before falling apart on the back nine with a birdie, six bogeys and a triple-bogey on the 18th where he found the water twice.