Tiger Woods has completed his first round at the 2013 WGC-Cadillac Championship and he's off to a strong start at Doral, finishing 6-under for a current share of the lead with Hunter Mahan, Dustin Johnson, and Fredrik Jacobson. Much like Torrey Pines earlier this year, this is a layout where Woods has a consistent track record of success. He won the annual PGA Tour event here three straight years from 2005 to 2007, and also holds the aggregate score record on a course that consistently ranks as one of the easier tracks on Tour.
Woods opened his week at Doral with birdies on each of his first two holes, but promptly gave those shots back with two consecutive bogeys. He worked to get back in the red on his first nine and went out in 32, largely built on some solid approach shots into the greens at the Blue Monster.
Tiger then turned it on coming in, momentarily taking a share of the lead with those three others at 6-under. Almost the entire field at the limited-entry WGC is in red numbers with putts rolling in on every hole at Doral, and Tiger took advantage of the benign conditions. Woods started on the back nine at Doral and then quickly got to work on the vulnerable front nine to finish out his round. After making the turn, he picked up birdies on five of the first eight holes to rocket up the leaderboard.
After a middling four rounds last week at the Honda Classic, Woods had his complete game working on Thursday to put himself in prime position for a 17th career WGC victory. There weren't a ton of fireworks in the round, but Woods was steady tee-to-green to pick up red numbers and climb up the leaderboard. He finished the round with nine total birdies, the most he's had in a round since last year's BMW Championship in the FedExCup. His personal record for most birdies in a single round was 10 and he just burned the edge on his final hole to fall short of matching that mark.
There are plenty of golfers still out on the course who can catch or pass Woods at 6-under, but the opening round 66 is another early season sign that Woods continues to improve his short game alongside his Sean Foley re-designed swing.
For a live leaderboard from Doral, visit Golf.com.