A huge storm ripped through the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral and when the the storm was done, the players tore up the course.
Only 30 minutes play was possible before a fierce thunderstorm hit the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Doral Resort and Spa.
The Blue Monster course was torn to shreds – first by gusts of over 50 miles per hour during a brief but violent thunderstorm, then by some of golf's greatest players.
Seventeen trees were uprooted, television towers blown over and the 17th green damaged by flying debris, while the giant scoreboard by the final hole was reduced to rubble shortly after the start.
Despite the suspension, when play resumed at 14:30 the calm and soft conditions meant the course was there for the taking.
Hunter Mahan, the American whose defeat to Graeme McDowell saw Europe clinch The Ryder Cup last October, led the way at 7-under par after only 11 holes when darkness came.
“I guess with that storm it brought some tranquility to the golf course, because there was just no wind,” he said. “There was nothing out there. The course is in perfect shape, I was seeing there was a bunch of low scores.
“So good players and a good golf course and benign conditions, you're going to have some good scores.”
And it wasn't just Mahan, there are 52 players at even par or better.
The top South Africans are Thomas Aiken, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen. Aiken is 4-under through 14 holes, while Els and Goosen are both 3-under through 11 and 16 holes respectively
World No 1 Martin Kaymer also took advantage of the easy conidtions and went 5-under through just 10 holes.
“I had a fantastic start with three birdies, and then I played very, very solid golf,” said Kaymer. “My putting was good.
“I hit a lot of fairways but to be honest, it was not that difficult today. You can see the scores, a bunch of people are under par and a bunch of people are three, four under par so it doesn't seem that difficult.”
Lee Westwood is only one shot behind Kaymer, but needs to out-perform the German to reclaim the No 1 spot.