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BlogWho will win at Doral on Sunday

WGC-Cadillac Championship

March 5 – 8, 2015

Trump National Doral

Miami, Fla.

Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,481

Purse: $9.25 million

with $1,572,500 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Patrick Reed

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

Who could win on Sunday?

It’s been a dream week for J.B. Holmes at Doral.  On Thursday he went out and shot a 62, only the seventh time that score has been shot at Doral (Stephen Ames did shot 61 in 2000 for the competitive low Doral round).  Making the round more spectacular was the first round scoring average being 73.40 which meant that Holmes was eleven and a half shots better than the field.  Since Holmes is one of the longest hitters on the PGA Tour he has a big advantage, but making things work in his favor his his putting, he’s making a ton of them over three mounds, 284 feet of them.  Holmes is also hitting a lot of greens, over 54 holes he has hit 38 of 54 greens which ranks 5th.

What Holmes has done is coast since he shot 62, his first round had no bogeys, eight birdies and one eagle, in his second and third rounds he made nine birdies and a eagle.  That eagle was pretty spectacular as he made a hole in one on the fourth hole with a seven iron.  With all of this good play he goes into the final round with a five shot lead, a nice lead but he will have Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson at five back chasing him.

Historically four of the last seven champions led after the first round, even more impressively looking at all the WGC-Cadillac’s played at Doral, since the event moved to Doral in 2007, six third round leaders/co-leaders have won and the other four were runner-ups.  So if history repeats, Holmes will win.  Still like everyone else, Holmes will have to go out and earn that win, I think it could be harder than some think.

Why will it be hard for Holmes to win?  After his perfect 62 Holmes has really scrambled, Friday he could only muster a 73 and his round of 70 on Saturday was saved with a hole in one and four straight birdies between 14 and 17.  Still he has a five shot lead, but the two five back are Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson.  The bottom line, everything is in Holmes hands, if he shots 71-72, he should win.  If he has early problems and plays the front in a couple over par it will bring in some players to catch and pass him.  It’s interesting to see how Holmes has done when with the lead or close to the lead, here is a look at how Holmes has done with either the lead or within five of the lead.  The results are mixed as you can see, yes he won three times with the third round lead but for those with short memories look at what happened to J.B. last month at the Farmers Insurance Open, he didn’t get the job done on the final day.

How realistic are the chances of Dustin Johnson or Bubba Watson?  They aren’t terrible, both have some good points and bad points, but they are still five back.  Both have done well this year and both could win on Sunday.  Still for Johnson and Watson to win, they will have to shot five or six under which is a tall task or hope that Holmes stumbles.

Anybody else with a shot on Sunday?  Again it all depends what J.B. does, but Bill Haas did shot 65 to get within seven of Holmes.  Louis Oosthuizen is also seven back after shooting a 67 on Saturday.

What about those at 3 under, impressive list of players with Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia, Webb Simpson and Lee Westwood?  In order for these four to makeup the eight shots they will have to get a lot of help from Holmes.  But look at last week, Daniel Berger made up nine shots on the third round leader to get into the playoff, so anything is possible.

So will the weather play a difference?  Absolutely, in looking at the forecast it’s suppose to rain all night and during day on Sunday.  The good news is there won’t be any thunder, probably one of the reasons that PGA Tour officials haven’t moved up the tee times but the rain will make it harder and probably be more of an advantage for Holmes with his length.  Also forecast is winds from between 10 and 20 mph, that could make an impact on things.

Below is a list of the top-17 players on the leader board going to 1 under which is ten shots back of J.B. Holmes

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

Of the top-17 on the leaderboard, who is playing the best: for the WGC-Cadillac Championship

Player Honda Joburg Open Northern Trust Indian Open AT&T Pebble Thailand Farmers Malaysian Phoenix Open Dubai Humana Qatar Masters Sony Open
Dustin Johnson
(163.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T2
(100)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
J.B. Holmes
(131.33 pts)
DNP DNP T22
(28)
DNP T10
(40)
DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP T66
(0)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Ryan Palmer
(119.33 pts)
T25
(25)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP T10
(26.67)
DNP T17
(11)
Bubba Watson
(102.67 pts)
DNP DNP T14
(36)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Lee Westwood
(101.67 pts)
T25
(25)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T5
(46.67)
DNP T9
(30)
DNP DNP DNP
Patrick Reed
(100 pts)
T7
(55)
DNP DNP DNP T29
(21)
DNP DNP DNP T40
(6.67)
DNP T24
(17.33)
DNP DNP
Bill Haas
(98.67 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T19
(20.67)
DNP 76
(0)
DNP Win
(88)
DNP DNP
Sergio Garcia
(93.67 pts)
T31
(19)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T46
(1.33)
DNP
Rory McIlroy
(78 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP DNP DNP
Shane Lowry
(65.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T21
(29)
DNP T7
(36.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Ryan Moore
(46.67 pts)
DNP DNP T22
(28)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T17
(22)
DNP WD
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Webb Simpson
(39 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T7
(36.67)
DNP T13
(12.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

Of the top-17 on the leaderboard, who isn’t playing well: for the WGC-Cadillac Championship

Player Honda Joburg Open Northern Trust Indian Open AT&T Pebble Thailand Farmers Malaysian Phoenix Open Dubai Humana Qatar Masters Sony Open
Victor Dubuisson
(-10 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Morgan Hoffmann
(16.33 pts)
WD
(-5)
DNP T22
(28)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T53
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T51
(0)
Henrik Stenson
(37 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T13
(24.67)
DNP T13
(12.33)
DNP
Webb Simpson
(39 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T7
(36.67)
DNP T13
(12.33)
Ryan Moore
(46.67 pts)
DNP DNP T22
(28)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T17
(22)
DNP WD
(-3.33)
DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

In Conclusion:

Everything points to a J.B. Holmes win.  He has a big lead, the rain will make it harder for others to go low and post a score.  Most of all his length will play a big advantage for him.  If Holmes does falter on the front it could be a really great final round when you see the players within 11 of Holmes.  Rory McIlroy is ten back of Holmes, but if Rory shoots 65 on Sunday and Holmes is struggling, you never know what will happen.  We saw what happened last week to Ian Poulter at the Honda, Doral has the same water hazards that could make him stumble and find someone work his way up.  We still have to go with Holmes, he hasn’t given us any true reason to think he will stumble.

Who to watch for on Sunday at Doral

It’s all up to J.B. to win it on Sunday:

J.B. Holmes

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
1 (leads by 5) T18 T40

Other than Mother-nature with the weather, nobody has control of this event more than J.B. If he can go out and cruise to an even par round, he won’t be caught. But if he stumbles like Ian Poulter did at Honda last week or like Retief Goosen did at the Northern Trust two weeks ago, someone will be there when he falls. Holmes has become a really good player and we have to think he will do the job on Sunday, he has the lenght and power. But his achilles heel is putting, if those five, six and seven footers don’t fall early, it could make for a really long day for him. One important element in Holmes favor, history. Leaders at Doral tend to take care of business and collect the trophy and check, I see that happening on Sunday.

Those that could make life tough for J.B. on Sunday:

Dustin Johnson

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T2 (5 SB) T4 T12 T35 2 T56 T35

He is playing well and this course suits him. He kept his cool on Sunday and was able to gain a shot on J.B., still he needs a really good front nine. He is ready to jump all over J.B. and if Holmes does sputter look for Dustin to take advantage of it.

Bubba Watson

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T2 (5 SB) T2 T18 2 72

He too is playing well and if he gets off to a good start could catch J.B. He has played the most consistent of the leaders, that could do him well if the weather turns nasty on Sunday.

Solid contenders:

Ryan Moore

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
4 (6 SB) T25 T53 T22

May of shot 74 on Sunday, but he could turn it around and shot 66 which could apply some pressure.

Henrik Stenson

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T5 (7 SB) T16 T37 T77 T57 T19 T13 T3

We have seen him in this position a lot, he has a long grind ahead of him and needs a really low score.

Bill Haas

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T5 (7 SB) T6 T43 T29 T31 T6

If he shots another 65 and posts a score like Berger did last week, he could watch those in the lead scramble toward the finish

Long shots that could come through:

Sergio Garcia

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T8 (8 SB) T16 T3 T60 T37 T31 T15 T3 T32 T3 T4 T12

Of course we know he will play well early and could make up a lot of ground. But at the end of the day Garcia never seems to be able to close the door on a big comeback.

Webb Simpson

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T8 (8 SB) T47 T20 T35

He could do the deed if Holmes stumbles, he has the experience of watching those around him stumble at the U.S. Open in 2012 and win it.

Lee Westwood

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T8 (8 SB) T34 T25 T29 T18 T30 T61 T34 T32 T51 T13 T35

He is a great player on tough tracks, just wonder if he has a low round in him.

Adam Scott

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T8 (8 SB) T25 T3 T13 T6 T50 T66 T9 T61 T2 T29 T36 T40

Amazed he has gotten this far, I can’t see him doing that well on Sunday

Just too far back

Rory McIlroy

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T12 (10 SB) T25 T8 3 T10 T65 T20

Sorry but just too far back. But don’t tell him that, he would have to play the first five holes in three under to get things rolling.

Patrick Reed

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T12 (10 SB) Win

Same thing, has to make lot’s of birdies early.

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