Tiger Woods (Getty Images)
Tiger Woods claimed the clubhouse lead at the WGC – Cadillac Championship on the back of an imperious 66 on the famed Blue Monster course.
The 14 time Major Champion is no stranger to success in an event he has won six times, with his last triumph - the only one at Trump Doral - coming in 2007.
Profiting on conditions that suited scoring, Woods today put on a scintillating display to end six under par - an effort that could have been even better but for a birdie putt on six that somehow stayed out.
Having parred the his first hole - the tenth - he holed from 15 and 10 feet to move two under after three, only to bogey the next two.
Undeterred, he picked up shots on the 16th and 18th to complete an outward 34. That seemingly gave the 37 year old the lift he needed for an even better back nine, the hallmark of which was outstanding approach play.
He gained five shots on the way in, with a bogey on three his sole misdemeanour; at the point of entering the clubhouse, Woods was joint leader alongside Fredrik Jacobson and Dustin Johnson - who were through 17 and 15 holes respectively.
Eagles on the eighth and tenth combined with birdies on one, five and 15 to offset a dropped shot on the second for Jacobsen, while Johnson’s only bogey came at the third.
Spaniard Sergio Garcia, seeking his first WGC triumph, was just a shot off the pace.
The ten time European Tour winner got going with birdies on the opening two holes and followed up three successive pars by picking up another at six.
He continued his exemplary round thereafter, mixing pars with the odd birdie to be five under through 14 - level with playing partner Graeme McDowell and Sweden’s Peter Hanson, who had played two holes more.