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BlogWGC-Cadillac Championship Preview and Picks

WGC-Cadillac Championship

March 6 – 9, 2014

Doral C.C. (Blue)

Miami, Fla.

Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,481

Purse: $9 Million

with $1,530,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Tiger Woods

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes all 50 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, the best field for 2014.

The field includes 15 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2014 which I think is a bit of a surprise.  Those top-25  players not in the field are: #13 Brian Stuard, #14 Ryan Palmer, #17 Scott Stallings, #18 Charles Howell III, #19 Russell Knox, #21 Will MacKenzie, #22 Jason Bohn, #23 Pat Perez, #24 Charley Hoffman and #25 Chris Stroud.

The field includes 17 players in the top 25 on this year’s PGA Tour money list.  Those top-25  players not in the field are: #14 Brian Stuard, #15 Ryan Palmer, #17 Scott Stallings, #19 Charles Howell III, #20 Will MacKenzie, #22 Pat Perez, #23 Chris Stroud and #22 Jason Bohn.

The field includes all past WGC-Cadillac champions with the exception of Mike Weir who won in 2003 and Geoff Ogilvy who won in 2006.

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the WGC-Cadillac Championship field is our performance chart listed by average finish.  Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the WGC-Cadillac Championship in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

Be sure to join us on Saturday evening for our new feature, Who should win on Sunday.  We will look at the first three rounds and see why the leaders are playing well and what it will take to win on Sunday.  That’s Saturday night a couple of hours after play is completed.

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the WGC-Cadillac Championship

Player Honda Tshwane Open WGC Accenture Northern Trust AT&T Pebble Joburg Open Phoenix Open Dubai Desert Farmers Qatar Masters Humana Abu Dhabi Sony Open
Bubba Watson
(284.17 pts)
DNP DNP T9
(67.5)
Win
(132)
DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP T23
(18)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Jason Day
(264.67 pts)
DNP DNP Win
(198)
DNP T64
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
George Coetzee
(229.83 pts)
DNP T50
(1)
T9
(67.5)
DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP DNP DNP T5
(46.67)
DNP T4
(26.67)
DNP
Sergio Garcia
(215.83 pts)
T8
(50)
DNP T9
(67.5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP T19
(10.33)
DNP
Jordan Spieth
(213.67 pts)
DNP DNP T5
(105)
T12
(38)
T4
(53.33)
DNP DNP DNP T19
(20.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Rory McIlroy
(212.83 pts)
T2
(100)
DNP T17
(49.5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T9
(30)
DNP DNP DNP T2
(33.33)
DNP
Jimmy Walker
(204.83 pts)
DNP DNP T17
(49.5)
T20
(30)
Win
(88)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(44)
Dustin Johnson
(192.17 pts)
DNP DNP T33
(25.5)
2
(100)
T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Victor Dubuisson
(184.67 pts)
DNP DNP 2
(150)
T40
(10)
T13
(24.67)
DNP DNP DNP T59
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Harris English
(169.83 pts)
DNP DNP T9
(67.5)
T10
(40)
DNP DNP 9
(30)
DNP DNP DNP T33
(5.67)
DNP 4
(26.67)
Patrick Reed
(164.83 pts)
T24
(26)
DNP T17
(49.5)
DNP T13
(24.67)
DNP T19
(20.67)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(44)
DNP DNP
Hunter Mahan
(162.83 pts)
DNP DNP T9
(67.5)
T52
(0)
6
(40)
DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP T47
(2)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Graham Delaet
(158.83 pts)
DNP DNP T33
(25.5)
T70
(0)
DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Hideki Matsuyama
(147.5 pts)
WD
(-5)
DNP T17
(49.5)
T23
(27)
DNP DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP T16
(22.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Graeme McDowell
(145.67 pts)
T46
(4)
DNP T5
(105)
DNP T7
(36.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Kevin Stadler
(143.83 pts)
DNP DNP T33
(25.5)
T23
(27)
T45
(3.33)
DNP Win
(88)
DNP DNP DNP T78
(0)
DNP DNP
Rickie Fowler
(143.33 pts)
T24
(26)
DNP 3
(135)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T33
(5.67)
DNP DNP
Jim Furyk
(142 pts)
DNP DNP T5
(105)
T23
(27)
T35
(10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Ernie Els
(137 pts)
DNP DNP 4
(120)
T35
(15)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T37
(8.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Stephen Gallacher
(134.83 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T33
(25.5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP T28
(14.67)
DNP T8
(16.67)
DNP
Keegan Bradley
(120.17 pts)
T12
(38)
DNP T33
(25.5)
T20
(30)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T16
(22.67)
DNP T18
(10.67)
DNP DNP
Darren Fichardt
(114 pts)
DNP T6
(60)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T13
(24.67)
DNP T16
(22.67)
DNP T10
(13.33)
DNP
Bill Haas
(111.83 pts)
DNP DNP T17
(49.5)
T23
(27)
DNP DNP T34
(10.67)
DNP T43
(4.67)
DNP T6
(20)
DNP DNP
Charl Schwartzel
(109.5 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T17
(49.5)
5
(70)
DNP T59
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Russell Henley
(108.67 pts)
Win
(132)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
T52
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T51
(0)

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the WGC-Cadillac Championship

Player Honda Tshwane Open WGC Accenture Northern Trust AT&T Pebble Joburg Open Phoenix Open Dubai Desert Farmers Qatar Masters Humana Abu Dhabi Sony Open
D.A. Points
(-10 pts)
T61
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DQ
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T59
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T51
(0)
Brendon De Jonge
(-6 pts)
T63
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T53
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T18
(10.67)
DNP T51
(0)
Hyung-Sung Kim
(0 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T65
(0)
Tiger Woods
(1 pts)
WD
(-5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T41
(6)
T80
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Peter Uihlein
(2.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T16
(22.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Scott Hend
(14 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T29
(14)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Brett Rumford
(14.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T13
(24.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Ian Poulter
(20.83 pts)
DNP DNP T33
(25.5)
T59
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T47
(2)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Martin Kaymer
(21.83 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T33
(25.5)
DNP DNP DNP T53
(0)
DNP DNP T57
(0)
DNP T31
(6.33)
DNP
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
(22.17 pts)
DNP DNP T33
(25.5)
DNP T64
(0)
DNP T67
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

I don’t know if the biggest buzz is the renovations done on Doral or Rory McIlroy’s collapse.  Let’s first talk about Rory.

Many will say that there are too many expectations on McIlroy, we in the media are comparing him with Tiger Woods and that too much will be said about Sundays poor finish.  Comparing Rory to Tiger is like apples and oranges, McIlroy hasn’t earned that yet, even with his two major wins.

In all of golf Tiger can only be compared with Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus.  These three found ways of winning and always getting the job done and did that in majors, just like Tiger has done.  Jones won seven professional majors, but also was runner-up four times.  Hogan won nine majors and was runner-up six times while Nicklaus won 18 majors and was runner-up 19 times.  These are numbers that have only been achieved by Tiger Woods who is at 14 major wins and been runner-up 6 times.  So McIlroy has a long way to go.

Still we all expect a lot out of Rory, the same with players like Tiger or a Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott and to some degree Ernie Els.  Not only do fans, media and other players put the five on a pedestal, mostly because they earn millions of dollars a year.  A fair comparison to what is happening to Rory and the others is comparing them with Yankees Alex Rodriguez.  In his 20 year career he had a .299 average and hit 654 home runs.  But in the playoffs he has a .263 average in 18 playoff series.  Going a step further, in just Yankee playoffs starting in 2004 the Yankees made it to post season play 8 different years only making it to the World Series once, which they won in 2009.  But in those 8 playoffs A-Rod’s average was .244 and he only had 10 homeruns in 221 at-bats.  For a guy making $30 million a year this is a terrible record and one that shows that he hasn’t delivered the goods for the Yankees.

In a way Rory has done the same thing, remember the 2011 Masters when Rory entered the back nine at 11 under par and with a one shot lead.  After making a triple at 10, a bogey at 11 he made a double at 12 and just like that took himself out of the tournament.  He shot 43 on the back nine and his 80 dropped him back into a T15th.

On Sunday at the Honda Classic, McIlroy birdied the 5th hole and was at 13 under par and he led by three.  For 59 holes McIlroy did what he needed to do and had to hold on.  He didn’t, playing his last 12 holes in five over par.  Making things even worst, McIlroy was leading by a slim one shot going into 16, made double bogey and was co-leading.  He finished with a bogey and a birdie to make the four man playoff and wasn’t able to birdie 18 which all week was the easiest hole on the course.  Ok, the kid is just 24-years-old and blew a Masters as a 21-year-old and blew the Honda Classic.  But this has happened before, just last month at Dubai Rory was a shot up on Stephen Gallacher after 60 holes but played his last 12 holes in 2 over par and fell back into a T9th.  Sorry but in my feeble mind a guy that is making a zillion dollars a year should be able to play his last 12 holes in at least even par.  I understand the pressure of leading a tournament but if your going to be considered the best, you have to bring home the goods and hold onto the lead.  It was a rare day that we saw either Jones, Hogan, Nicklaus or Tiger loss tournaments on the back nine.

I also wonder if this will create any long-term scars.  Phil Mickelson has blown a tournament or two on the back-nine.  Gosh we can go as far as saying that he really blew the 2006 U.S. Open on the 72nd hole.  He finished bogey-par-double bogey ending up one shot back of winner Geoff Ogilvy.  Mickelson has lost a lot of tournaments on the back nine but in the last couple of years he has come through in the clutch with great back nines including the 2010 Masters and the 2013 British Open.  Another person that could of been as great as Jones, Hogan, Nicklaus and Woods was Greg Norman.  But he never was able to finish things up, two sad examples of this was the 1996 Masters when he blew a seven shot third round lead, playing a final round 78.  12 years later Norman could of gotten a bit of redemption as he went into the final round of the 2008 British Open with a 2 shot lead.  At the time he was 53 years-old and could of put a great ending mark on his career with a victory, but again the gremlins got him as he bogeyed his first three holes going on to a final round 77 and a T3rd finish.

We all know that McIlroy can be a great player, but we also thought the same of Sergio Garcia, who has stumbled a half a dozen times on the back nine to lose majors.  So as Rory licks his wounds this week at Doral, we just wonder if he could overcome all of these problems which could hamper his success in years to come.

*  The other big news will be on the health of Tiger Woods.  He withdrew from the Honda Classic complaining of back spasms and Woods agent Mark Steinberg told ESPN that Woods was receiving treatments and that his status was still “up in the air”.  We have seen this before, in 2012 Woods withdrew from the Cadillac for similar problems and two weeks later won at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.  So we really don’t know or will understand the true status of Tiger.

Tiger hasn’t played well since finishing T2nd at the Barclays back in August.  Yes he finished T3rd at the Turkish Airlines Open and lost a playoff at his tournament in December, but in three events this year he has only played on Sunday once, at the Dubai Classic where he finished T41st.  Tiger was originally going to have a press conference on Tuesday, that has been pushed back on Wednesday when we will find out more on his back.

So it only makes sense that with his poor play his #1 ranking is in danger.  If Adam Scott wins at Doral, he has a chance to pass Tiger, depending on how Woods plays and final verification of the toughness of the field.

*  Also in talking about injured players, we don’t know the status of Justin Rose.  He has been plagued with shoulder problems most of the year and it was so bad that he had to withdraw last week from the Honda.  Frankly this is a worrisome problem and one in which I would be hesitant in picking him. He is planning a press conference on Tuesday which should shine some light on his status.

Things you need to know about the WCG-Cadillac championship

  • The second World Golf Championship of the 2014, the WCG-Cadillac championship will be a 72-hole, stroke-play event with a limited field of 69 players.  It will include the top-50 players in the World Golf Ranking plus the top-30 from the FedEx Cup point list from 2013, the top-10 of the 2013-14 FedEx Cup standings, the top-20 from the final 2013 Race To Dubai and the top-10 from the 2014 Race to Dubai standings.  Also the top-2 from the 2013 Japan Golf Tour, Australasian Tour and Asian Tour order of merit not otherwise exempt.
  • There will be no cut in the 72-hole event, which has an $9 million purse with the winner receiving $1.53 million.
  • This is only the second time that this event has been played at the same course back-to-back since the first two years at Valderamma.   Doral was the site of the Ford Championship of Doral between 1962 – 2006 and is now the home of the WGC-CA Championship.  In 2011 Cadillac took over sponsorship of this tournament.

Course information:

  • The Blue Monster at Trump National Doral
  • Doral, Fla.
  • 7,481 yards     Par 36-36–72

Doral is a public golf course, part of the Trump Doral resort.  In 2013 the Blue Monster was the 31 hardest course on the PGA Tour playing to a 71.354 average.

Doral was designed by Dick Wilson, with some help from Robert Von Hagge, and opened in 1962.  It has held a PGA Tour event on it every year since 1962.  In it’s first decade on the PGA Tour it was called one of the toughest courses in the world, thus it’s nickname “The Blue Monster”. Figures showed that it was one of the toughest courses on the PGA Tour in it’s first three decades, but a combination of better equipment, agronomy, players getting physically in shape and years with a lack of wind brought the scoring average down at Doral.

After the 1996 event, Doral officials closed the course and Raymond Floyd went about toughing and bringing the bite back to Doral.  He added 186 yards, put in an additional 18 bunkers, changed the grass from Rye to Bernuda and changed the design of the greens, basically in the interest of bring the teeth back to the event.  The renovation did just that.  In the years after the redesign, winds were tougher and scores went up to the levels that players didn’t like the combination of tough course with high winds complaining that the course was tricked up.  With marquee players not coming back, officials went through another renovation after the 2000 tournament, this time eliminating ten bunkers and softening up the greens.  In 2003 another 166 yards was added and in 2008 the greens were renovated with TifEagle.

With the passing of time, Doral again had another facelift over the last year, this one probably the biggest of the bunch.  Gil Hanse was brought in and $18 million spent as 17 of the 18 holes were completely redone.  To honor the legendary 18th hole, it was the only one not touched in the renovation.  Water will now come into play more, with new hazards being placed at 1, 11, 14,15 and 16 and existing hazards coming more into play at 5 and 7.  Another 147 yards has been added and the course will play at 7,481, 542 yards more than in 1996 the year before it’s first renovation.

Here are some of the major changes to the course:

  • The lengthening of the 1st hole – 2013 scorecard yardage – 529 vs. 2014 yardage – 572. There is also water in play to the right of the first green.
  • The par 3, 9th hole has a number of new tee boxes including a back tee that can have it play as long as 200 yards. The green itself has moved closer to the 18th green which has created a new amphitheater of grandstands surrounding both the 18th and 9th greens.
  • The 10th tee has moved significantly to players’ left as part of the expansion of the new driving range. This makes for a much different tee shot to carry over water on the 10th tee. Additionally, the 10th green was moved back to lengthen the hole to 614 yards.
  • Some of the most exciting changes have happened on the finishing stretch. The par 3, 15th green for instance was a mostly non-descript 175-yard par 3. It is now a shorter hole at 153 yards, but much more water is in play with a peninsula green as part of the design.
  • The 16th hole was also shortened from 372 yards to 341. Players have a better view of the green with a number of trees removed, but water now comes closer to the green making this a true risk-reward hole.

The big question will be, how much harder will the course play this year?  A big lesson was learned in the Floyd renovation in 1997.  That the true toughness of the course lies in Mother Nature, when the wind blows the course is very difficult, playing a shot to two harder.  So when there is no wind, the course is very easy.  What Floyd did was make a tougher course by adding bunkers and making the greens very hard.  In no wind, the course was tough and fair but in high winds the course was very unfair and impossible.  So that is the secret in any redesign, you have to make creative changes to not toughen the holes but make them play differently that takes a lot of thought to play.  In some of the early news from media and those that played the course in the last couple of weeks, they say that Hanse has accomplished that and it will be very playable in any weather scenario.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the WGC-Cadillac Championship

Key stat for the winner:

17 of the 18 holes has been altered and the fairways widen a bit.  But on the hole all of the greens have been redone and the course will be totally different from previous years.  In past years the Blue Monster is only a monster in windy conditions so it will be interesting to see what the changes will do on either bringing back the bite to the course.

In looking at the long range weather for the week there will be winds of 15 mph on Thursday and Friday, slipping down to 6 mph over the weekend.  On Thursday temperatures will be 83 with a potential for severe thunderstorms.  After that Friday only brings 20% chance of rain and no rain over the weekend.  Still it will be interesting to see if weather is the key factor to scoring with the changes.

Here are some more key stats to look to for this week:

  • Solid shotmakers, since Doral demands ball control, especially if there is any wind.  In the last 15 years, eleven of the winners at Doral (including the Ford Championship in Doral) have been in the top four in greens hit.  2009 was the first major change as Phil Mickelson ranked T33rd in this stat which is the highest any winner at Doral has done in greens hit.  In 2010 Ernie Els continue the trend as he was T2nd in greens hit, but in 2011 Nick Watney was T12th while in 2012 Justin Rose was T17th and Tiger Woods was T6th in 2013.
  • Unimportant stat: Those that play well not only in Florida, but on Bermuda grasses will do well this week.  Interesting to note that since 1990 all the winners except for 1997 & 1999 champion Steve Elkington, 2008 champion Geoff Ogilvy, 2009 winner Phil Mickelson, 2011 winner Nick Watney and 2013 winner Justin Rose either grew up in Florida or live there.  Elkington and Ogilvy both grew up in Australia with Bermuda grass while Mickelson grew up in the San Diego area while Watney grew up in Northern California and Rose grew up in England and South Africa.
  • Interesting to point out that since 1983 every winner except for Rocco Mediate and Bill Glasson were over 29 years old with four winners in their 40s.  The average age of the 16 winners at Doral is 36 years old as last year’s winner Tiger Woods was 38.
  • Par 5s aren’t a push over, but have been conquered by the champions at Doral.  Since 1997 they have averaged playing them in 9-under par.  Woods played the par 5s in 2007 at 10-under while in 2008 Ogilvy played them in 6 under and Mickelson played them in 7 under in 2009.  In 2010 Ernie Els played them in 12 under par while Watney was 11 under on then in 2011, Justin Rose was 11 under on then in 2012 and Tiger was 9 under last year.
  • Don’t be surprised to see a non-American winner this week.  Between 1962 and 1989 no international player won at Doral, but since then 11 of the 24 have been international winners.

Who to watch for at the WGC-Cadillac Championship

Best Bets:

Sergio Garcia

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T3 T60 T37 T31 T15 T3 T32 T3 T4 T12 7

Has played great most of the year including a win in Qatar, has a great record at Doral and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him do well.

Adam Scott

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T3 T13 T6 T50 T66 T9 T61 T2 T29 T36 T40 T39

Flew under the radar screen at Honda, he did finish T12th. Also finished T3rd last year, he will be someone to watch closely this week.

Dustin Johnson

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T12 T35 2 T56 T35

Just wondering if he will pick up were he left off at Pebble and play well again. Course is perfect for him, look for a good week.

Best of the rest:

Bubba Watson

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T18 2 72

Just have to think that he almost won in 2012 and will be playing well enough to be in contention again.

Keegan Bradley

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
7 T8

Good record in his two previous Doral starts, his game has steadily improved each event he has played.

Rory McIlroy

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T8 3 T10 T65 T20

Hard to understand if the back nine at the Honda on Sunday will effect him this week. Sense says it won’t, but if he plays well early will have a lot of pressure on him to close the deal.

Zach Johnson

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T47 T17 T24 T37 T53 T9 T9 T45 T43 10

Normally not a strong Florida swing player, he has done well at the Players which makes us think that the new changes could be just what gets him to play well this week.

Solid contenders

Jason Day

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T33 T20 T45

Hard to win back to back, has not shown that he could play the old course but the changes will be right up his alley.

Hunter Mahan

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T25 T24 9 T30 T53 T44

Playing well right now, coming to a course that he had some success on in 2011.

Luke Donald

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T43 T6 T6 T26 T20 T20 T26 T6 T11 T11

Looked good at Honda, has played good in this event in past years so maybe he will contend.

Matteo Manassero

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T23

Been playing well I can see him contending going into the weekend.

Long shots that could come through:

Harris English

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
First time playing in this event

Another new comer who now has to prove that he can play well in Florida. Did well in Tampa last year, so that gives me the feeling that Doral could be right up his alley

Jordan Spieth

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
First time playing in this event

Playing for the first time, his game is good right now and don’t see any reason for him not to play well.

Jimmy Walker

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
First time playing in this event

Another new comer to Doral, has not shown he can play well in Florida so this will be the first test on if he can be a consistent player all the time on Tour.

Just don’t know which way to go on this:

Tiger Woods

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
Win WD T10 T9 5 Win Win Win 9 Win Win

We have seen him withdraw from an event and then win in next start. But we don’t really know if this back is more seriously that Woods is saying. Just look at his terrible numbers for the year, it’s hard to believe a healthy Tiger would play this bad.

Justin Rose

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T8 Win T42 T20 T15 T28 T46

If he didn’t have a shoulder problem he would be the favorite, but we have to really think twice about him being healthy enough to win.

Steve Stricker

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
2 T8 T18 T16 T13 T6 T35

He plays great at Doral, but is his heart into it? He wasn’t very sharp at the Match Play only playing a day, the big question is how hard he has worked on his game? I don’t think it will be enough to contend this week.

Comments

  1. Ira Genin says:

    you don’t like Kuchar this week?

  2. He just hasn’t shown me much this year, yes I know he finished in the top-ten in Hawaii events but nothing since. Yes has a good record at Doral other than last year which probably was a result of him winning the Match Play. But at the same time it’s like his Doral results seems to go in the wrong direction, each year is worst than the previous start. The bottom line is that he just doesn’t give me that air of confidence in his game and playing well at Doral. I know he will play ok this year, but I don’t think it will be this week.

  3. shane leon says:

    Hey Sal,
    Shane here i Hotmailed you last week ref some data question. You list that for cheats check london bookmakers and vegas odds. First all Vegas should be eliminated. That is about as competitive a market as the Sahara is for sand. Only one location gives the best indication of “where the money is” and that is http://www.betfair.com. One can not bet in the USA via this site, but one should still be able to view the golf market. Also, when discussing the Honda Classic, yes Rory did cough it up. But that said, and no one has mentioned it, Ryan Palmer should have won that tournament by three. Balls flying off his putter like a bullets from a misaligned Gatling gun. Missing five putts inside 8 feet in last five holes sums that up nicely. Never once scaring the hole. Keep the data coming.

  4. BetFair.Com is part of the british bet sites that are on Golfstats.
    As for Las Vegas, it’s just a different thought giving a more American point of view.
    As for Ryan Palmer he is a good player but not good under the gun. His birdie try on the 72nd hole is a perfect example of why he doesn’t do better, just not good under the gun.

  5. darrell suter says:

    Hi Sal, good work. Just touching on your solid contenders & long shots. You have Manassero(160/1) as a ‘solid contender’ and Spieth(28/1) as a long shot that could come through. I think both will play well this week just don’t think a guy as one of the betting favs would be a ‘long shot’. Maybe it was an error. Cheers.

  6. No error.
    Spieth has no record at Doral, I am a bit suspicious over that and is capability of playing in Southeastern Florida. It’s not a bermuda problem, played great at Hyundai, Puerto Rico and Innisbrook I just am uneasy on him at Doral. First-timing on this course with all of the changes has a big learning curve.

  7. darrell suter says:

    Fair enough, I’m not that high on Spieth this week either but as we know just about every event he’s played he’s been a first timer on the course and has fared pretty well. With all the changes to the course, it kind levels the playing field as vet’s of the event will be playing the ‘new’ Doral for the first time. Spieth has better recent form and Manassero has only played here once(last year, 23rd in limited field..). I would put Spieth as a ‘solid contender’ and Manassero as a ‘long shot that could come through’ but I’m not trying to criticize. Keep up the good work.

  8. Hey Sal,
    Great insight so far. With all of the changes to the course, do you know how many of the original greens are still intact? With so many golfers putting from memory won’t this have the largest impact of all?

  9. I know that they rebuilt all of them, not sure on what they did on 18. Was told they didn’t touch that hole, but if they were going to redo the other 17, they had to redo the 18th so even though the location is the same there has to be some degree of difference.
    Yes this will play an impact on the players, greens will not putt the same as before, about half of them are in different locations

  10. Eric Simon says:

    Thoughts on McDowell this week? I think people are sleeping on him a little bit because everyone backed him last week and he didn’t deliver but he came 2nd last year and really has been playing well the last month. I think he has good value here.

  11. He could, but I am one of those that thought about his bad play at the Honda.
    Guess we will see.

  12. For Ira, guess you were right and I was wrong on Kuchar.
    It’s funny, I am in this big pick your pro game and just noticed back in January I picked Kuchar for this week.
    Oh well, that’s what happens when you think too much on some of these guys.

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