The best players in the world are in Florida this week for the first World Golf Championship event of 2015. Patrick Reed defends in the WGC – Cadillac Championship at Doral.

Lowdown:
The best players in the world are in Florida this week for the first World Golf Championship event of 2015. Patrick Reed defends in the WGC – Cadillac Championship at Doral.

Since it was first hosted in 1999, Tiger Woods has won this event seven times, most recently in 2013 when he finished two clear of Steve Stricker. Tiger doesn’t play this season as he’s dropped to 75th on the Official World Golf Ranking and is taking a break from competitive action as he struggles with injury and short game woes.

In last year’s tournament, Patrick Reed held on to win by a shot from Bubba Watson and Jamie Donaldson. All three of those players will fancy their chances again this week, but they’ll face stern opposition. It’s a limited field this week – just 74 players, and all 50 of the World’s Top 50 will tee it up.

Originally designed by Dick Wilson, the TPC Blue Monster has played host to PGA Tour events for almost half a century. The Doral Open was contested over the layout between 1962 and 2006.

The track was revamped by Gil Hanse for last year’s tournament and it proved to be a significant challenge. The average score for the week was 73.852 – not helped by an average of 76 on day two thanks to strong winds.

The weather forecast for this week looks more gentle. There might be some rain, but it should be generally warm with just light breezes.

Venue: Blue Monster, Trump National Doral, Florida
Date: Mar 5-8
Course stats: par 72, 7,528 yards
Purse: $9,250,000 Winner: $1,570,000
Defending Champion: Patrick Reed (-4)

TV Coverage:
Thursday 5 – Sky Sports 4 from 6pm
Friday 6 – Sky Sports 4 from 6pm
Saturday 7 – Sky Sports 4 from 5.30pm
Sunday 8 – Sky Sports 4 from 5.30pm

Player Watch:
Dustin Johnson – A missed cut at PGA National was a blip on his return to form. He had two top-four finishes prior to that. He was also tied fourth in this event last year.

Hideki Matsuyama – The Japanese player has been on great form over the past few months. He has four top-four finishes on the PGA Tour this year.

Jamie Donaldson – Tied second here last year and sixth in the Honda – the planets are aligning for Donaldson!