Justin Rose (Getty Images)
England's Justin Rose turned in a five under par 31 over his first nine holes to lead the WGC-Cadillac Championship in Miami - and there was a flying start from World Number One Rory McIlroy as well.
Rose began his second round with a hat-trick of birdies before holing from ten feet at the 16th and pitching to five feet on the next.
The 31 year old then safely negotiated the fearsome 18th, which on the opening day saw 18 balls in the water from the 74-strong field and where Open Champion Darren Clarke added a double-bogey six to the triple bogey he had on his first visit.
On eight under par overall, Rose was one ahead of playing partner Bubba Watson, also out in 31, and Australian Adam Scott, who shared the first-day lead with American Jason Dufner.
McIlroy, “mentally flat” in his first-round 73, was determined to get back in the hunt and did just that with an eagle-birdie start.
The 22 year old Northern Irishman, who went top of the Official World Golf Ranking by winning the Honda Classic last Sunday, hit a 186 yard approach to three feet on the par five first and then was just as close with his approach to the next.
McIlroy was again playing with England's Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, the two players immediately behind him in the world and both of whom entered the tournament with a chance to go back to number one.
That looked highly unlikely for Westwood after an opening 76, but he did at least birdie the first two holes on the resumption, while Donald remained two under and was alongside Tiger Woods, who birdied the two par fives on the back nine.
The start of the front nine is the easiest part of the Blue Monster course at Doral, especially after all the rain there had been in the area earlier, and Rose did not miss out.
He was on in two at the first and two-putted, then made his seventh birdie of the day from four feet on the next.
Watson matched him both times and so they stood ten under and nine under respectively, with Scott one further back after his second birdie on the sixth.
McIlroy, on the other hand, bogeyed the third and fifth to drop back to level par and was outside the top 30 again.
Rose birdied again on the fifth, but even though he followed that with three pars in a row he lost the lead to Watson, who went to an incredible ten under for his round after birdies at the fifth and sixth and then a six foot eagle putt on the eighth after two superb blows.
He needed to close with another birdie to equal the course record of 61, while Woods was making steady progress too. Birdies at the first, fourth and fifth made him five under for the round and the tournament.