Rory McIlroy was a relieved young man in Miami yesterday after a training mishap appeared to be having no lasting impact. The 21-year-old completed a first-round 68 at the WGC-Cadillac Championship after dropping a 22-kilogram dumbbell on his big right toe.
"It's sore, but it's fine," he said. "I was just putting it back on the rack and it just slipped off. I will lose a nail, but it doesn't feel too bad."
McIlroy's round left him four behind pacesetter Hunter Mahan as the 66-strong field returned to the Blue Monster course for the second round. Mahan was still the man setting the pace but Phil Mickelson had a shocking return and fell nine behind. Mahan, seven under par overnight, had two birdies and a bogey in his remaining seven holes to post an eight-under-par 64.
His lead slipped from two to one, however, as Japan's 19-year-old Ryo Ishikawa birdied the 15th and 17th. World number one Martin Kaymer was in third place after a 66, but Luke Donald three-putted the last and slipped into the group on five under. Lee Westwood birdied the 18th, but that was only for a 70 after he had bogeyed the 12th, 13th and 15th. That put Westwood alongside Tiger Woods, Graeme McDowell and Paul Casey just outside the top 20.
Woods said: "The things that I've been working on are starting to come together now – I'm able to control my traj [trajectory] and hit the shots that I want to."
Scotland's Martin Laird reached six under, matching Donald's 67. Padraig Harrington was also well in the hunt after 68s and England's Ross Fisher was only one back.