DORAL, Fla. -- If there's anything that has been learned over the 50 years that tournament golf has been staged hereabouts, it's that the Blue Monster without wind is like a dragon that doesn't breath fire.
Helpless, defenseless and vulnerable.
After a storm blew through the Cadillac Championship on Thursday and caused a 2:45 delay, the winds nearly disappeared and players painted the scoreboards in red.
Matt Kuchar eagled the first hole and was 5 under through his first five holes. Hunter Mahan birdied seven of the 10 holes he played and was leading when play was suspended because of darkness.
Years ago, when Doral was considered a long, hard venue, the Blue Monster moniker had more teeth. Sans the wind, it's about as threatening as a septuagenarian with dentures.
"I guess with that storm it brought some tranquility to the golf course, because there was just no wind," Mahan said. "There was nothing out there. The course is in perfect shape. I was seeing there was a bunch of low scores. So, good players and a good golf course and benign conditions, you're going to have some good scores."
There were 26 players in the field of 66 at 3 under of better when the horn sounded, halting play.
"When the wind doesn't blow here," said Lance Bennett, Kuchar's caddie, "people are always going to go low."
Not everybody lit up the place, of course. The big-name trio of Philk Mickelson, Tiger Woods and Graeme McDowell was something of a letdown. Mickelson was 2 under and the other pair were both 1 under.
"We had a beautiful day to play golf," Mickelson said. "When the storm went away, the weather cleared up and we just had beautiful weather."
The rain that blasted the course for an hour and tore up severl structures did more than just throw the schedule into disarray, too.
"It definitely made the greens softer," said Camilo Villegas, who was 3 under.