The eyes of the golfing world turn to Trump National Doral this week as the best players on the planet line up for the WGC-Cadillac Championship.
49 of the top-50 on the Official World Golf Ranking will tee it up in Florida this week for the first World Golf Championship event of 2016. Of the top flight, only Jim Furyk will be absent as he requires an operation on his wrist.
Spieth won the Hyundai Tournament of Champions but has only played twice on the PGA Tour since then and, last time out, he missed the cut at Riviera, posting his worst ever opening round on the circuit (a 79.) Rory also comes into this event on the back of a missed cut – his putting looked decidedly suspect at the Honda Classic. Jason Day is yet to find top gear in 2016. His three finishes have been tied 10th, MC and tied 11th.
Adding to the problem for “the big three” is the fact that some of their nearest challengers are showing some excellent early season form. Adam Scott is back to his best, as Honda Classic victory showed last week. Bubba Watson won at Riviera, Rickie Fowler is playing some great stuff as is defending Cadillac Champion Dustin Johnson. Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel have both won on the European Tour in recent weeks.
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. Last year Dustin Johnson came back from a six-month sabbatical and claimed victory here. He closed down and then passed the stumbling Bubba Watson and J.B. Holmes.
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 weather forecast for the week looks set fair. There shouldn’t be any rain delays to contend with but strong winds could be a factor.
Venue: Trump National Doral, Florida, USA
Date: Mar 3-6
Course stats: par 72, 7,543 yards
Purse: $9,500,000 Winner: $1,620,000
Defending Champion: Dustin Johnson (-9)
Thursday 3 – Sky Sports 4 from 6pm
Friday 4 – Sky Sports 4 from 6pm
Saturday 5 – Sky Sports 4 from 5pm
Sunday 6 – Sky Sports 4 from 5pm
As the eyes of the golfing world turn to Trump National this week, many of them will focus on the big three of Jordan, Rory and Jason. But anybody in this reduced field of 67 could walk away as champion. Here are three men who have a great chance:
Adam Scott – The Australian should contend this week given recent form and past performances in this event. He won last week, was tied second the week before and was tied 4th at Doral last year.
Tech Talk – Titleist 816 hybrids:
Louis Oosthuizen – Fresh off a victory in Perth, Oosthuizen looks in control of his game. He was sixth in this event last season.
Justin Thomas – He looks the real deal and is ready to take a step-up to the highest echelons of the game. This event could be the perfect setting for him to do that. It’s his first start in this tournament but he comes into it on the back of a tied third place at the Honda.
Key hole: 18th. It’s an extremely challenging par four. Water lurks all down the left side and the fairway is extremely narrow. It generally plays as the hardest hole on the course and always provides the possibility of last-minute drama.