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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

WGC-Cadillac Championship & Puerto Rico Open Final Predictions

As we do every week, it's time for the final thoughts and predictions. I hope this weeks plays out to everyone's huge expectations. That said, we'll jump right in.

WGC-Cadillac Championship Final Predictions:
  • My dark-horse for the week is Anders Hansen. There really isn't such a think as a true dark-horse in a WGC event, but Hansen would be a relative unknown for most casual American golf fans. In his last stroke-play event in the U.S., Hansen finished third at the PGA Championship. He also finished in a third-place tie in this event last year.
  • There are a ton of ways to go with this pick, but my contender is Dustin Johnson. He's trending so well going into this event and he was the runner-up last year.
  • And the winner is, Tiger Woods. This feels almost as scary as picking Rickie Fowler to win something, but it shouldn't. Tiger is in great form, and it's due in large part to playing more events early in the 2012 season. The biggest question for Tiger is what he shoots in his worst round. I said yesterday that I think he'll shoot at least one round in the 66 range, but I really wonder what his high round will be. If it's a 70, I think he wins. If it's a 73, then he may have a hard time. One more nugget; Tiger just edged out Keegan Bradley for No. 1 in the all-around statistical category. Uh-oh for everyone else if that keeps up. 
Puerto Rico Open Final Predictions:
  • Let's have some fun and go way down the list with a feel-good dark- candidate. I'll take Erik Compton. Of course he's sentimental, but he's actually been playing some good golf lately. While he's yet to rack up a top 25, he has made five out of six cuts and The Honda Classic last week represented his best finish (T26). This will be his fourth tournament in a row, which is noteworthy due to stamina concerns with Compton's well documented heart conditions.
  • For a contender, I'll take Brandt Jobe. Jobe fits the course and had a nice week last week at The Honda finishing in a tie for 16th.  He missed his first four cuts of the year, but he's made his last two and he finished in a seventh-place tie here last year.
  • And the winner is Vaughn Taylor. Taylor has twice won at the Reno-Taho which is also an opposite-field event and he went from a Monday Qualifier last week to an 18th place tie. He also had a tie for 16th the week before. He did not play in this event in 2011, but he's got a putter that will give him a chance anywhere.
Hold on tight for a wild week and best of luck to your favorite golfer!

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