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Hunter Mahan breezes into lead at Doral

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods are four and five shots off the lead at the storm-delayed event.

March 10, 2011|Wire reports
  • Hunter Mahan follows through on his drive at No. 11 on Thursday during the first round of play at Doral.
Hunter Mahan follows through on his drive at No. 11 on Thursday during the… (Lynne Sladky / Associated…)

Television towers toppled and the monster scoreboard at Doral came crashing down when 50-mph gusts blew through the Blue Monster. Hunter Mahan then delivered some excitement of his own in the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

Mahan birdied his opening four holes Thursday in Florida and kept right on rolling until the storm-delayed opening round was suspended by darkness. He didn't miss a green or come close to a bogey in 11 holes and was seven under par.

The biggest crowd belonged to Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in a rare weekday pairing, with Graeme McDowell along for the ride. They scraped their way around Doral without challenging the leaders — Mickelson at two under, with Woods and McDowell another shot back through 15 holes.

Mahan went out in 30 on the back nine, which included birdie putts of 35 and 40 feet.

At seven under, he was two shots clear of Charley Hoffman, who had a five-under 67 and was among nine players in the 66-man field who were able to finish the round.

James Driscoll shot a nine-under 63 in the PGA Tour's Puerto Rico Open, missing a chance to break 60 when he played the final four holes in two over at Rio Grande.

Driscoll eagled the par-five fifth — his 14th hole of the day — to reach 11 under but dropped strokes on the par-four seventh and par-three eighth at Trump International Golf Club-Puerto Rico. He had 10 birdies in a 12-hole stretch from No. 12 to No. 3 and ended up with a two-stroke lead over Will MacKenzie.

ETC.

Police investigate NHL hit

Montreal police started a criminal investigation into the on-ice hit by the Boston Bruins' Zdeno Chara that left the Canadiens' Max Pacioretty with a severe concussion and a cracked vertebra.

Police said they are acting on a request by Quebec's director of criminal and penal prosecutions, Louis Dionne. Police added that after evidence is collected, it will then be determined if there are grounds for prosecution.

The NHL said a day earlier it would not suspend Chara for Tuesday night's hit, when he slammed Pacioretty into a glass partition.

Tom Asbury is retiring as Pepperdine basketball coach, with his top assistant Marty Wilson set to take over the program, the school announced.

Wilson will be introduced as the Waves' next coach at a campus news conference Friday.

Asbury first served as Pepperdine coach from 1989 to 1994, and he was asked to return in February 2008 at a low point in the program.

Horse of the year Zenyatta is pregnant, according to Zenyatta.com, which is run by Zenyatta's racing manager Dottie Ingordo Shirreffs, wife of trainer John Shirreffs.

The news comes just over two weeks after Zenyatta was mated with 2006 Preakness winner Bernardini. The gestational period for horses is about a year.

Hollywood Park will run a 54-day spring-summer meet with purses worth more than $5.2 million starting April 21.

The Grade I, $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup will be run July 9 as part of a doubleheader with the Grade II, $200,000 Swap Stakes for 3-year-olds.

The NBA fined Hornets guard Marco Belinelli $10,000 for his flagrant foul on Shawn Marion during New Orleans' 93-92 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.

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