Not that many other candidates came in for very close inspection. The players to just miss out on selection were Camilo Villegas and Ross Fisher. Both would appear to have the right long-game talents for this course, and Villegas confirmed that when finishing runner-up here as a relative novice in 2006. Having let me down repeatedly just lately, it would be frustrating to see him bounce back now, but its not out of the question by any means.
As for Fisher, along with Paul Casey, another good week in this lucrative event would help no end towards our long-term Race to Dubai positions. His odds are now far more realistic than they were for the Matchplay, where he gave us such a great run for our money at 100/1. I’m not ruling out either player by any means. Nor would I rule out fellow Europeans Robert Karlsson and Lee Westwood, both of whom would appear to have the right credentials for Doral.
Numerous other regular candidates are confidently written off. Vijay Singh has made the top-5 at Doral on six occasions, but can’t be backed on his post-injury, 2009 form. Padraig Harrington’s best previous Doral effort is just 19th place, while Justin Leonard has yet to make the top-10 in ten tries. Stewart Cink, back to form in the WGC – Accenture Matchplay but poor once again in the Honda Classic, has only made that mark once, again from ten tries. Kenny Perry has just one Doral top-10 from nine. Hunter Mahan’s best is a miserable 44th, while Adam Scott will probably struggle once again with the greens playing this fast.
Instead, my final selection is ANDRES ROMERO, a player who must always come into calculations when available at three figures. Very talented if still inexperienced, Romero is arguably the most inconsistent player alive. Two-thirds of his starts since the beginning of 2008 have resulted in finishes outside the top-30, yet in that time he has made the top-10 in two majors and won on the PGA Tour. Indeed half of his ten career appearances in either Majors or WGC events have produced top-10 finishes. The key to getting Romero right seems to be very fast greens, as those two Major performances came on courses with extremely slick putting surfaces, Augusta and Oakland Hills. And just last month, at another sometimes Major venue with fast greens, Romero registered his best result in ages when finishing 3rd at Riviera.
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