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BlogWho will win at Doral on Sunday?

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

Things you need to know for Sunday’s final round at Doral:

Your third round leader is Patrick Reed, will he be leading after tomorrows final round?

Probably not but I would of said the same thing after the third round at Wyndham and Humana. Reed has one of those type of games that he can win any time but he also can be very bad.  Look at this chart of Reed’s best finishesThis is his 52nd PGA Tour start and he only has six top-ten finishes.  He has only made 62% of his cuts (32 of 51) so you can see he is either really good or really bad.  Reed has never played in any majors, he teed it up for the first time in a WGC event two weeks ago losing in the second round of the Accenture Match Play.  So he has something to prove and that is if he can win a really important event with a great field chasing him, something that was lacking at Wyndham and Humana because those chasing him weren’t the elite of the PGA Tour.  Now before you jump down my throat for that statement, yes I agree winning twice at the age of 23 on the PGA Tour is quite an accomplish, especially when you know that he has had the third round lead twice, and won both of those times.  One other positive on Reed, he help guide Augusta State to back-to-back NCAA championships in 2010 and 2011 so he knows what to do when in the lead.

Back to the original question on if Patrick Reed can win on Sunday, I don’t think so.

So if not Reed who else will win?

Reed may have a two shot lead at 4 under, but there are two players, Jason Dufner and Hunter Mahan at 2 under, two Tiger Woods and Jamie Donaldson at 1 under, three Miguel Angel Jimenez, Zach Johnson and Dustin Johnson at even par and five Jimmy Walker, Richard Sterne, Bubba Watson, Graeme McDowell and Matt Kuchar at one over.  Also knocking on the door is Phil Mickelson, Branden Grace, Bill Haas, Ryan Moore and Nick Watney at 2 over so a lot of players close.  It’s a wide open race for me, anyone of these players can win.

So of all of those that I mentioned, who has played the most consistent?

Gosh if you count Reed, only two of the top-18 players have shot three rounds with the high score of 73 or lower, Bubba Watson and Graeme McDowell.  Watson has rounds of 73-72-72 and he has stayed away from disaster with no double bogeys and ten bogeys.  McDowell with rounds of 73-71-73 has no double bogeys either and 11 bogeys.  Normally this is high, but it shows that they have been very consistent and could be ready to shot a low round of 67 or 68 on Sunday.

Is Tiger for real?

Tiger has gotten better after each round and with his 66 on Saturday moved up from a T25th into a T12th.  Woods was pretty much written off after his double bogey on the 14th hole on Thursday which at the time placed him at six over par.  Since then has played his next 40 holes in 7 under par and has shown shades of the old Tiger Woods.  So what has the secret been?  Hitting the ball better, after the first two rounds he hit 21 of 36 greens.  On Saturday he only missed only four greens.  Also Tiger has found his putting stroke, this is the key to winning for him.  It’s a rarity that he has won putting bad and over the course of the last five years his putting has been very inconsistent which I feel has been his biggest problem.  NBC interviewed Tiger after the round and he didn’t sugar-coat his back pain saying it was still there, that for me will be the big question mark on Sunday, will it hold up.  If I was to guess on Tiger’s score on Sunday it will probably be a 71, I don’t seem him being a factor down the stretch.

So any other “consistent” players?

In looking at Jason Dufner, he has played the front nine in four over and the back in six under so that’s important in the scheme of things.  In looking at the high scores, anyone going into the back nine within five could sneak in, if they play it like Dufner has this week you can see how they would win.  Hunter Mahan is also playing great and if it wasn’t for a triple bogey six on the 4th hole in the second round he could be in the lead.  I like the fact that he has played his last seven holes in 2 under par, but a negative is making bogeys at 18 in the second and third round.  Still he is one to watch and if he does pull out a victory he will claim three WGC events, he won the Bridgestone in 2010 and the Accenture Match Play in 2012

Any other surprises? 

  • I would watch these three players on Sunday, first Zach Johnson  He started the year off with a bang and I can see him doing well tomorrow.  He shot 71 on Saturday and was very consistent only making two bogeys.  He just has the type of game that can really sneak in there on Sunday.
  • Also watch Dustin Johnson, after opening up with 69 has fallen back with a 74 and a 73.  But he made a great birdie at 18 on Saturday that makes you think that he can sneak up on Sunday.  He is the longest player in the field and that does have advantages at Doral.
  • Lastly I like Matt Kuchar, who after shooting 69 followed up with 74-74.  Just have to think his bad rounds are away from him and he could play well on Sunday.  Does have a good record at Doral, maybe this is the week for him.

 

Could Jimmy Walker win #4 of the year?

Yes he could, he played great on Sunday shooting 67 with a double bogey on 4.  He played his last 14 holes in six under, the question is if he can keep it up on Sunday.  Here is a very interesting stat, right now he has three victories and will be only the third player to tee it up at the Masters for the first time with three or more wins (since 1969).  The first was Tom Shaw, who won four times before his first Masters in 1971 and the second was Denis Watson, who won three times in 1984 and played his first Masters in 1985.

So who is the real winner this week?

Without a doubt the two winners this week are Donald Trump and Gil Hanse.

No matter what anyone thinks of Trump, yes he’s a big blowhard that loves to  stoke his own ego, he is one that will take a gamble and risk on things.  Trump has taken several risks on courses that had serious debt and wouldn’t of made it without him.  Places like his course in Palos Verdes, just outside of Los Angeles.  On it was a great course but in a area prone to landslides in which three of the holes had already slide into the ocean.  Trump took a risk in buying it and paid to fix it up and today it’s one of the top places on the west coast for anyone to play.  Trump really took a big risk with Doral, to many detractors location is lacking and that it’s seen it’s heyday in past years.  But Trump bought it and then risked the money to remodel it and today we can see it’s a great course again.

As for Hanse, first to work for Trump is not an easy task and Hanse has done a great job in keeping Trump happy.  But his biggest accomplishment is in his renovation.  In 1997 when Raymond Floyd redid the course all he did was make it tougher.  But what Hanse did was seriously make each of the holes better and more prevalent with the way the game is played today.  Each of the holes now take a lot of thought and effort to make sure that they are played properly.  Of course the scores are way up, mother nature has a lot to do with it but if you have a calm, windless day the course will still be hard for the best players in the world.  So Trump and Hanse should be commended for the work they’ve done.

Below is a list of the top-20 players on the leader board going to 3 over showing how they have done of late to see who has played the best:

Of the top-20 on Saturday’s leaderboard, who’s playing the best?

Player Honda Classic 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
(231.17 pts)
DNP DNP T9
(67.5)
Win
(88)
DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP T23
(9)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Rory McIlroy
(212.83 pts)
T2
(100)
DNP T17
(49.5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T9
(30)
DNP DNP DNP T2
(33.33)
DNP
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
(161.83 pts)
DNP DNP T9
(67.5)
T52
(0)
6
(40)
DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP T47
(1)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Dustin Johnson
(158.83 pts)
DNP DNP T33
(25.5)
2
(66.67)
T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP 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
Bill Haas
(100.5 pts)
DNP DNP T17
(49.5)
T23
(18)
DNP DNP T34
(10.67)
DNP T43
(2.33)
DNP T6
(20)
DNP DNP
Zach Johnson
(89.17 pts)
T33
(17)
DNP T33
(25.5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T3
(30)
DNP T8
(16.67)
Ryan Moore
(82.83 pts)
DNP DNP T17
(49.5)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T6
(40)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Matt Kuchar
(77.5 pts)
DNP DNP T9
(67.5)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T8
(16.67)
Jason Dufner
(74.5 pts)
DNP DNP T9
(67.5)
T65
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T72
(0)
DNP DNP T29
(7)
Nick Watney
(58.83 pts)
T24
(26)
DNP T33
(25.5)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T29
(14)
DNP T59
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Joost Luiten
(56.83 pts)
DNP DNP T33
(25.5)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T23
(18)
DNP DNP DNP 6
(20)
DNP
Phil Mickelson
(47.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T19
(20.67)
DNP T42
(5.33)
DNP WD
(-1.67)
DNP DNP T2
(33.33)
DNP
Jamie Donaldson
(45.5 pts)
T55
(0)
DNP T33
(25.5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T20
(20)
DNP DNP DNP T56
(0)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

Of those in the top-20, who isn’t playing well coming into this week?

Player Honda Classic Tshwane Open WGC Accenture Northern Trust AT&T Pebble Joburg Open Phoenix Open Dubai Desert Farmers Qatar Masters Humana Abu Dhabi Sony Open
Tiger Woods
(1 pts)
WD
(-5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T41
(6)
T80
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Miguel A. Jimenez
(28.83 pts)
DNP DNP T33
(25.5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T10
(13.33)
DNP
Branden Grace
(31.17 pts)
DNP DNP T33
(25.5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T13
(12.33)
DNP T52
(0)
DNP
Richard Sterne
(39.5 pts)
DNP DNP T17
(49.5)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T54
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Jamie Donaldson
(45.5 pts)
T55
(0)
DNP T33
(25.5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T20
(20)
DNP DNP DNP T56
(0)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

In conclusion:

Sorry I just don’t see Patrick Reed doing it.  Yes both of his wins came with the third round lead and he is playing great.  But I saw him leaking a lot of oil at the Humana and I can see him lose the lead very early.

Both Jason Dufner and Hunter Mahan has won big events and held on under the pressure.  These two are the logical choices just because they have been there before and should know how to do it.

Again I like Zach Johnson, Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar making moves on Sunday.  I feel that they have nothing to lose, can play loosely on Sunday and get into contention really quickly.  According to Weather.com Sunday is going to be a picture perfect day with winds not going over 10 mph.  So that means the course will be for the taking and I can see someone as far back as 4 or 5 over shooting a early 64 and be in contention.  The one thing about Doral, it’s such a tough course now and so many places to get into trouble, it’s going to be a very tough course to lead.  I can see someone backing into a win and possibly be in the clubhouse.

Oh will the winner be Tiger?  He played great on Saturday so maybe he has found a secret to success.  But how many times do you see Tiger come from behind in the final round, that’s right now many times, just don’t think he knows what to do when he is behind one of the reasons why he doesn’t win.  Still if he is patient and let’s others make mistakes and gets to 4 under for the day, he could easily be the one to steal this event.

Who should win the Cadillac on Sunday?

Best Bets:

Hunter Mahan

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

Has everything going for him, great record in WGC events and at Doral and playing very well. I can see him sitting back until he gets on the final holes.

Jason Dufner

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T12 T29 T18

The PGA Championship showed what a cool customer he is and I can see him hanging on for the win

So can he go three for three with the third round lead?

Patrick Reed

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

Yes he did win in Greensboro last August and at the Humana two months ago, but he has a lot of great players close to him on a really great course, I just don’t see it happening.

Win #80 for Tiger?

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 this happen before, remember the U.S. Open at Pebble in 2010? Or even the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am when he played with Phil Mickelson on the last day and played bad. Tiger just doesn’t seem to do well when behind, he seems to press to early and create havoc for him. I again see him trying to get things going early and having a few putts miss and then having him press. Tiger just isn’t good from behind

Players to watch on Sunday:

Zach Johnson

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

His game is like a fine wine, getting better with age and I can see Johnson do very well on Sunday. Can he win, yes and he is in a good spot for that to happen

Dustin Johnson

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

Another Johnson who will have a perfect mind set being behind. I can see him gut it out and be there in the end, he has played great in the last month and I see it carrying over to Sunday.

Mat Kuchar

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

I always thought that Doral was a perfect place for Kuchar, I can see him free-wheeling it on Sunday and finding himself in contention.

Two more that could back into a win:

Bubba Watson

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

Course is good for him, he has the length to make it easier. If he could get it going early, I can see him winning and doing what he did in L.A.

Graeme McDowell

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T3 T13 T42 T6 T66 T48 T6 T43

He is a big longshot, but I saw him in the same position at Pebble Beach in his 2010 U.S. Open win. Don’t discount him, he could post an early score and win in the clubhouse.

Comments

  1. anthony m says:

    How about nick Watney if he just had a little more believe in himself.

  2. From what I hear Nick Watney has one big problem and that is at home. Trying to get a good mix has been tough on him and a reason for his mediocre play.

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