Friday, 19 March 2010
WGC-CA Championship- Round One  (Getty Images)
WGC-CA Championship- Round One (Getty Images)

South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel fired the only bogey-free round of the day to lead the World Golf Championships-CA Championship in windy Miami.

On another good day for The European Tour's Members – they occupy seven of the top ten places after the first round – it was Schwartzel’s 67 that led the way at Doral.

“I didn't think 67 was out there today at the beginning of the day with the wind as strong as it was,” said Schwartzel. “I made five birdies, which I thought you could do, especially with three par fives being downwind, and some of them you're hitting wedge.

“The big achievement for me today was not making any bogeys. That kept the scorecard very clean.”

Schwartzel - twice a winner in his native South Africa already this year - was overtaken by Vijay Singh, but the Fijian found the lake on the treacherous 18th and double bogeyed.

Ernie Els' birdies at the 14th and 16th took him alongside his young compatriot, but he too was in the water at the last and with a bogey five slipped into a tie with Singh and Allenby on four under.

England's in-form Paul Casey, thrilled to finish only two shots off the lead in, thought Robert Allenby must have been playing somewhere else.

Australian Allenby defied the conditions with an eagle and six birdies to stand eight under par after 12 holes, but then bogeyed the last four.

That handed top spot to Schwartzel with his five under par 67, while Casey had four successive birdies late in the day before dropping a shot at the last to be in a tie for fifth spot.

"I thought Robert was playing a different course," said the World Number Six, who has a chance this week to become Tiger Woods' closest challenger on the rankings for the first time.

"That was very impressive stuff - there are a lot of tough holes here - and I'm very happy with my 69."

Allenby pitched in from 114 yards for an eagle two at the fifth and after turning in 30 added further birdies on the tenth and 12th, both par fives.

He started to come back to the pack, however, when he went over the green at the 245 yard 15th.

"I couldn't believe it was long. I thought it was short," he commented.

"Then I got a flyer on the 16th, thought I was perfect on the 17th and found myself with no shot from the bunker, then tried to hit a cut on the last and hit it dead straight."

Luke Donald, back in action after his wife gave birth to their first child two weeks ago (and a month earlier than expected), had a different experience on the final hole.

Donald holed a bunker shot for birdie en route to a two under 70, the same as Padraig Harrington.

The duo finished in a tie for 11th place, one shot behind their fellow European Tour Members Francesco Molinari of Italy and Denmark’s Søren Hansen, who both signed for three under par rounds of 69.

Molinari’s day would have been even better were it not for Doral’s menacing final hole, where he found the water with his drive to record a double bogey six. 


 

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