The golfing world focuses on Florida this week where the world’s elite are congregating in force for the WGC Cadillac Championship, which is staged on the Blue Monster at Doral.
Spieth, Day and McIlroy are all in attendance but, whilst many punters will be amazed that all three of them are available at double-figure prices, a quick look at their past event form shows why the bookies are happy to take them on this week.
The course underwent a radical overhaul before the 2014 renewal to try and make it more difficult, and it seems too difficult for the world’s best trio. Spieth has since finished 34th and 17th, whilst McIlroy has fared little better in 25th and 9th. Meanwhile Day, who has a poor record in Florida in general, missed the 2014 renewal through injury and only finished 31st last year. Meanwhile, one player who loves the course is Dustin Johnson, 4th and 1st the last two years, and he’s only begrudgingly passed over because he has the added pressure of defending – and so to this week’s selections.
Bubba Watson 1.5 points each-way @ 12/1 (Skybet) ¼ odds 6 places
The other player who really relishes trying to tame the Blue Monster is Bubba Watson who has finished 2nd and 3rd. Watson may have won two weeks ago at Riviera, but he also did that two years ago when finishing second here, and he’s a superstitious man who’s fully intent on trying to stick to a similar pattern to the one that also saw him claim his second Masters Green Jacket two years ago.
Adam Scott 1.5 points each-way @ 14/1 (Stan James) ¼ odds 5 places
Winning two-weeks on the bounce is a difficult thing to do, but Scott looks to be enjoying his golf so much at the moment that he could well improve on last year’s 4th. The reason the Aussie is enjoying his golf is the fact that he seems to have mastered the short putter, something which he wasn’t sure he could do after so much success with the longer-shafted version. He’s always possessed one of the best long games on the planet, and he looks hungry for success.
JB Holmes 1 point each-way @ 30/1 (Paddy Power) ¼ odds 5 places
JB Holmes hadn’t qualified for this event much in the past, but he blasted out of the traps last year before faltering in the final round to lose by one shot to Johnson. He may not make the same start this time round, but his overall form has been super consistent with his last four finishes reading 6/6/11/11 – and he deserves a shot at proving he can mix it with the best on this suitable layout.
Brooks Koepka 1 point each-way @ 33/1 (Skysports) ¼ odds 6 places
The other powerhouse who looks sure to conquer the Blue Monster sooner rather than later is Brooks Koepka, and his good all round record in Florida continued when 17th here on debut last year. He made far too many mistakes last year to contend, but he can put that course knowledge to good use and contend this week.