The world’s best players head to Florida this week for the WGC-Cadillac Championship.
Nick Watney is the defending champion for this event after successfully negotiating Doral’s TPC Blue Monster course last year to win by two shots.
A field comprising the world’s 50 best players will be in town this week to compete for the second WGC title of the season, just two weeks after Hunter Mahan claimed the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona.
Tiger Woods will be looking to add to the six titles he has claimed in this event, the last of which came in 2007.
Also in the field is Rory McIlroy, playing in his fourth consecutive WGC-Cadillac Championship. He will be looking to win his first WGC title this week after a top-ten finish last year.
Trying to prevent McIlroy from winning will be Luke Donald, who tied for sixth here last year, and he will no longer tee it up as the world number one.
Paul Casey is set to return after a snowboarding accident but Ian Poulter could miss out after being diagnosed with pneumonia last week.
Since the event’s inaugural year in 1999, it has moved around the world but has now found its home at the TPC Blue Monster at Doral. Starting at Valderrama, it has been played in Europe five times, with Mount Juliet Conrad in Ireland hosting two events and The Grove in Hertfordshire playing host to the tournament won by Tiger Woods in 2006.
The TPC Blue Monster course was initially designed by Dick Wilson and Robert Von Hagge in 1962 and has played host to various PGA Tour events since its opening.
Venue: TPC Blue Monster at Doral, Doral, Florida
Date: March 7-11
Course stats: par 72, 7,334 yards
Purse: $8,500,000, Winner: $1,400,000
Defending Champion: Nick Watney (-16)
Thursday 8 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 7pm
Friday 9 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 7pm
Saturday 10 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 5pm
Sunday 11 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 5pm
Tiger Woods – Looking to win his first title of 2012. He has dominated this event since it started in 1999, winning six and never finishing outside the top ten. If he wins this week it will mark his 17th WGC title.
Luke Donald – Tied for sixth here last year, he will be looking to kick start his season after poor showings in Abu Dhabi and Arizona.
Dustin Johnson – Finished runner-up last year after shooting his worst round of the week on the Sunday. Johnson has started the 2012 well with a couple of top-five finishes and a decent showing in the WGC-Accenture. He will fancy his chances of winning this week.
Key hole: 18th. At 467 yards, this infamous par 4 often ranks amongst the very hardest on the PGA Tour. The fairway is tricky to find from the tee – just 25 yards wide at its narrowest point, then the approach requires nerves of steel. The green is long and thin with water down the left side. It takes a brave man to fire at the back left pin position on Sunday afternoon.
Skills required: Keeping it in play. The greens at Doral are amongst the most straightforward the top players will encounter all year, so if they can find greens in regulation, they will make birdies.