Piercy and Fraser lead 'Big 3' after first round

MIAMI • Jordan Spieth won the battle of the "Big Three" but it was Scott Piercy and Marcus Fraser atop the leader board after the first round of golf's Cadillac Championship at Doral on Thursday.

The focus, as the elite World Golf Championships event teed off, was firmly on the marquee group of Spieth, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy - the top three players in the world who are grouped together for the first two rounds.

World No. 1 Spieth had five birdies in his three-under 69 that left him three shots off the lead.

Third-ranked McIlroy signed for a 71 that ended on a sour note with a double-bogey five at the par-three ninth.

World No. 2 Day settled for an even-par 72 that included four birdies and four bogeys.

He was upstaged by fellow Australian Fraser, winner of the Maybank Championship in Malaysia.

Fraser had seven birdies and was in sole possession of the lead before his only bogey of the day at his penultimate hole, the par-five eighth, dropped him into a tie for the lead with Piercy, who had rolled in eight birdies en route to a 66.

The leading duo were one shot in front of five-time Major champion Phil Mickelson.

"We all know we're trying to beat those guys week in, week out," said Piercy, of the marquee names chasing him and Fraser.

"I haven't proven it week in, week out, but, when my game's there, I'm pretty decent."

Mickelson, who has found the going difficult at Doral in recent years, had seven birdies and two bogeys in his 67.

"It was a good day," he said. "I hit a lot of good shots, made some good putts and just drove it well."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 05, 2016, with the headline 'Piercy and Fraser lead 'Big 3' after first round'. Print Edition | Subscribe