Donald defies icy California winds


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The Independent Online

England's world No 1 Luke Donald got his PGA Tour season off to a sub-par start with a first-round 70 in blustery conditions in the Northern Trust Open in California.

Donald was tied for ninth with compatriot Justin Rose after Phil Mickelson set the pace with a five-under 66. The American, back up to No 11 in the rankings after last Sunday's win at Pebble Beach, chipped in from 35 feet on the 18th to take a one-stroke lead from J B Holmes and Hunter Mahan.

Donald said: "This morning it was freezing and it was not easy [but] I'm excited about my ball-striking, the way I'm controlling the flight. This course is tough."