WGC-Cadillac Championship, March 5 – 8, 2015, Trump National Doral
Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,481
Purse: $9.25 million with $1,572,500 to the winner 

The Field

All 50 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings are confirmed to play.

Not in:  Seven time winner Tiger Woods.  Padraig Harrington jumped to no. 82 in the world rankings after Honda but didn’t make the field.  Northern Trust winner James Hahn has pulled out because his wife is due to give birth.

The Course

Trump National Doral played extremely difficult last year in strong winds but should be a much more manageable test this week with light winds forecast (15-20 kmph) throughout. 
At 7,481 yards the par 72 jumped from 31st hardest on the PGA Tour in 2013 to third hardest in 2014 following its renovations.  Gil Hanse oversaw the 2013 work where 17 of the 18 holes were completely redone with only the iconic final hole left intact. 

Bookies Favourites

Rory McIlroy 5/1
Missed the cut at The Honda Classic but then again the conditions were wretched and it might be no bad thing that Rory McIlroy got out of the wind for the weekend.  That glitch however sees his odds stretch out to 5/1 for his return to the revamped Blue Monster course which wasn’t much to his liking last year when he was T25th.  Three consecutive top 10’s from 2011 to 2013 including a best of solo third in 2012 still make Rors favourite in what is expected to be lighter winds this week.

Dustin Johnson 16/1
Of the favourites Dustin Johnson can even be got at 20/1 with some bookmakers even though he too missed the cut at The Honda.  T4 on the unveiling of the new renovations in 2014 was DJ’s best since coming solo second when Nick Watney (not in field this week) won at Doral in 2011.

Doc’s Five To Watch

Bubba Watson 20/1
Avoiding the conditions at the Champion Course may have been a masterstroke by Bubba Watson.  He’ll be ready to go this week after a close run T2 here last year when Pat Reed won.  Also finished solo second in 2012, one stroke behind Justin Rose.  On a good form-line too with a T14 in Riviera and T2 in Phoenix in his last two starts.
Matt Kuchar 30/1
Well rested since his last start in Phoenix (T30), Kuch has gone close already this season at the Humana (T2) and Sony (T3) and has been in the top 6 putting in each of his last four starts.  A T13 here last year here brought Kuchar’s record at Doral to four top-15 finishes in his last five visits.  Needs a good week with his irons.  Each way bet to be prudent, tends to have issues at the line.



Patrick Reed 25/1
The bookies have loosened the belt on Pat Reed following his capitulation in the final round of The Honda (T7) on Monday, but he seems a fiery sort and will be determined to get in the mix again in Miami.  Won in very impressive style, in very tough conditions on his debut last year.  Very good odds for a guy in form and defending; I don’t think this guy even does ‘mental scarring’.  Watch out for that protracted swing in the wind at The Open this year too!

Graeme McDowell 40/1

Missed the cut at The Honda but I cannot leave GMac out of my Doral picks; for me this course was built for his game.  Graeme knows this place like the back of his hand and has four top-10’s from his nine Doral starts. T3 before the revamp in 2013 when 19 under won and T9 after it last season when 4 under won.  Recent best of T9 in Dubai. Maybe Padraig Harrington’s win can spur him on?

Hunter Mahan 66/1

Like GMac I think The Blue Monster is a good fit for Hunter who needs a good week with his irons to get him into contention. T20 at Riviera, T30 in Phoenix and T17 at the TOC were solid if unspectacular given that Hunter is driving and putting as good as ever.  Has been in the top-30 in each of his last five visits to Doral and T9 last season.

International Best Of The Rest

Being that this is a WGC event, there is a big international flavour to the field.

Watch out for Thongchai Jaidee from 100/1. He played great here last year tying sixth and last time I saw him he was T2 in Thailand a few weeks back.  I also see Marc Warren listed at 200/1. The Scot has had a brilliant start to 2015 with a solo second in Qatar and good results in Dubai Malaysia and also in Thailand. Debut at Doral.
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