DORAL, Fla. (AP) — The new Doral in raging wind looked a lot like an old U.S. Open on Friday.
Matt Kuchar played out of the rough to tap-in range for birdie on the 18th hole for a 2-over 74 that allowed him to join an exclusive group at the Cadillac Championship — one of only four survivors to par.
The Blue Monster gobbled up just about everyone else.
Dustin Johnson bogeyed three of his last six holes for a 74. Patrick Reed made only two birdies in his round of 75. Hunter Mahan atoned for a triple bogey with a 4-iron into 5 feet for eagle on the eighth hole, giving him a 74. They joined Kuchar atop the leaderboard at 1-under 143.
"I felt stressed all day, because I knew every shot had 'big penalty' written all over it," Mahan said. "It was a really tough day. There wasn't an easy shot out there. One of those rounds where it could go south pretty fast, so you've got to grind it out and find a way to get a number up there and get to the weekend."
Only three players broke par in the second round. No one shot in the 60s. The average score was a fraction under 76.
"I don't think I've played in conditions this difficult in the U.S.," Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland said after a 71 that left him one shot behind. "It's an Open Championship day. It's a real Friday afternoon at St. Andrews in 2010 before they called it. It was hard out there — really, really hard."
Rory McIlroy (74), Francesco Molinari (75) and Jamie Donaldson of Wales (70) also were one behind at even-par 144.
Tiger Woods hit three balls in the water and scraped out a 73, thanks in part to a 90-foot birdie putt on the par-3 fourth hole. Phil Mickelson made back-to-back double bogeys, and then laid on his back along the bank of the fourth tee during a long wait. He got up, hit into the water and made another double bogey. Lefty shot 75.
Both were still in the mix, only six shots behind.
"It's a tough golf course as it is," Reed said. "And with how hard the wind is blowing, it made it even tougher. Almost felt like we were playing at a major today."
At times, it looked even worse.
Fist pumps were replaced by players stretching out their arm to take a penalty drop from the water — 113 balls in the water, which is everywhere on the course that Gil Hanse redesigned under the direction of new owner Donald Trump.
Trump described it as bold. It turned out to be brutal.
And just like a U.S. Open, there were plenty of complaints.
The greens were always going to be firm because the course was built in under a year. There was always going to be concern about the sharp edges of fairways and greens that sent balls down the bank and into the water. Throw in gusts that topped 30 mph, and any score was possible on any hole.