It’s not a Major Championship, but it’s as close as you can get. The top 50 golfers in the world will go to South Florida this week to test the new Blue Monster at Trump National Doral in the WGC-Cadillac Championship. The golf course was blown up almost as soon as Tiger Woods received his trophy after winning his second tournament of the 2013 season. The course had lost its competitive edge over the past few years, and course designer Gil Hanse has put the teeth back in the Monster.
A new design, $9 Million Dollars, and 550 FedEx Cup points awaits the best in the world this week when they tee it up on Thursday morning. The course is now 7481 yards long and plays to a par of 72. They have added more bunkers, more water, and more trees. It should provide a stern test for golfers getting their games ready for Augusta next month.
After withdrawing from The Honda Classic last week with back spasms, Tiger Woods is a question mark for his 12:39 tee time on Thursday, and if he doesn’t make it, he will be the only golfer in the Top 50 players ranked by The Official World Golf Ranking not playing at Doral. He is slated to play with number two, Adam Scott and number three, Henrik Stenson.
The first hole has been improved, and will not be the automatic birdie it has been in the past. With players bombing drives on a 300 yard average, the young players were almost embarrassing the old course. It’s not the test it was back in the days when Greg Norman dominated the fields with persimmon drivers. If what we saw at PGA National last week is any indication, we should be in for a great week of golf from South Florida.
• 72-HOLE RECORD: 261, Tiger Woods (2006 at The Grove). Trump Doral record: 264, Tiger Woods (2005).
• 18-HOLE RECORD: 62, Sergio Garcia and Retief Goosen (both 4th round, 2002 at Mount Juliet) and Bubba Watson (2nd round, 2012 at Doral). Trump Doral record: 61, Stephen Ames (2nd round, 2000).
You have to think Jason Day will come in here on a super high after winning the Accenture Match Play Championship a few weeks back. I like his game to win this week, but with the new course, and new conditions, it’s a crap shoot when trying to predict a winner. It was a struggle at Dove Mountain, but the young Australian got over the hump that has been plaguing him for the last few years, and got that all-important win under his belt.
Need I say more… The Top 50 golfers in the world, a huge purse, and an old golf course that’s new should be must watch TV for fans all around the world!
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