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Wind gusts of up to 52 mph Thursday at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral Resort "caused damage to the course and TV equipment and sent fans scrambling for cover," according to Ben Volin of the PALM BEACH POST. There were no injuries, but Tournament Dir Eddie Carbone said that the winds "knocked over television towers on the eighth and ninth holes, destroyed the 'Monster Board' scoreboard by the 18th green and blew down 17 newly-planted trees." The storm also "damaged the double-decker hospitality tent on the ninth hole" called "The Point." The Monster Board "will not be reassembled this weekend." Carbone said there are "too many pieces." But tournament officials hoped to "rebuild the television towers in time for Friday's round." Volin notes the "most expensive casualty of the storm was a high-definition camera atop the tower on No. 9 that ended up at the bottom of a lake" (PALM BEACH POST, 3/11). In Miami, Bill Van Smith reports the course was "quickly cleaned up after the damaging winds and play resumed after a 2-hour 45-minute wait." When the storm hit, "all areas of shelter -- clubhouse, maintenance buildings, etc. -- were opened to any and all fans to provide them protection" (MIAMI HERALD, 3/11).
GREAT SHOTS: The AP's Doug Ferguson noted Golf Channel began its telecast of Thursday's first round "with dramatic footage from a stationary camera atop a tower behind the ninth green." It showed a TV tower behind the eighth green "toppled onto a bunker." Moments later, the "tower behind the ninth blew over backward and into a small pond, and the camera went from showing the green golf course to the gray sky and then went blank as it plunged into the water" (AP, 3/10).