Day One at the WGC-Cadillac Championship: The Advantage of Getting Smoked by 40 Yards Off the Tee

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No. 18 at Trump National Doral

The day’s headliners at the WGC-Cadillac Championship were undoubtedly Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day. When they arrived at the eighth tee – Spieth and McIlroy were 3-under, Day was even. McIlroy hit it 40 yards past Spieth and Day on the 549-yard par five, it was their seventeenth hole of the day. Not that Spieth is Corey Pavin, but Rory’s length is alpha and therein lies the essence of Spieth.

McIlroy looks more like Arnold Schwarzenegger than Arnold Palmer making the 340-yard stroll up the middle of the fairway, Spieth was in a fairway bunker and had to lay up. It was a year ago on the same hole from 222 yards that Rory put his second shot in the lake, his three iron followed. Today Rory hit a four iron to about 25 feet, a two-putt birdie seemed certain. Spieth’s layup left him about 50 yards to the hole, he hit a wedge to 10-feet. Rory hit a terrible first putt and an even worse second for a three-putt par. As expected, Spieth rolled in his 10-footer for birdie without a reaction. That birdie must have made Ben Crenshaw so proud, Harvey Penick too.

Imagine playing golf with a metronome, that’s Spieth.

The final hole of the round for the Official World Golf Ranking’s No. 1, 2 and 3 was a 200-yard par three with water right and that’s where Rory went for a double. Spieth made a bogey from the left bunker for a two-shot swing coming down the stretch.

Spieth finished the day 3-under, McIlroy 1-under and Day shot an even par 72, but for all those that have ever played golf with a big hitter, Spieth’s birdie from the fairway bunker at No. 8 on the Blue Monster is a symbol of hope and perseverance.

Like a tiger creeping in the brush, Spieth sat back, waited, watched and pounced – it was gory.

Marcus Fraser and Scott Piercy finished atop of the leaderboard at 6-under and one shot ahead of fan favorite, Phil Mickelson. For 24-years Lefty’s tipped his cap and smiled for fans in his matching alligator-style leather shoe/belt combos. Phil might be the friendliest professional athletes in sports – he doesn’t stop smiling, especially if he’s hitting it well.

There are a lot of stars in good position, Adam Scott, Jason Dufner and Bubba Watson are there, but it’s day one and everyone’s still in it – except for the three guys that didn’t break 80.


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