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Sunday, March 1, 2015

WGC-Cadillac Championship - Preview

While The Honda Classic is preparing for  Monday finish, it's time for us to move on with a preview of the WGC-Cadillac Championship. Last year's edition was won by Patrick Reed, and ultimately led to him announcing to the world that he was  a top-five player. While he looked like a bit of a joke at the time, it turns out that the joke might be on us.

The Blue Monster, Trump National Doral returns as the host venue. You'll likely remember that their was a significant redesign before last year's edition, meaning course history is most relevant for 2014. As the name suggests, this is a monster of a course. It's a par 72, stretching out to 7,528 yards and featuring the full bounty of four par 5s, four par 3s and 10 par 4s.

Doral has consistently hosted this tournament since 2007. Here is the list of winners and runners-up since that time.

  • 2007 - Winner:  Tiger Woods (10-under 278) over Brett Wetterich (280)
  • 2008 - Winner:  Geoff Ogilvy (271) over Jim Furyk, Retief Goosen and Vijay Singh (272)
  • 2009 - Winner:  Phil Mickelson (269) over Nick Watney (270)
  • 2010 - Winner:  Ernie Els (270) over Charl Schwartzel (274)
  • 2011 - Winner: Nick Watney (272) over Dustin Johnson (274)
  • 2012 - Winner: Justin Rose (272) over Bubba Watson (273)
  • 2013 - Winner: Tiger Woods (269) over Steve Stricker (271)
  • 2014 - Winner: Patrick Reed (284) over Jamie Donaldson and Bubba Watson (285)

Here are a few observations based on that list:
  • There is absolutely a correlation between success at Doral and success at Augusta National. Both times Bubba won the Masters, he finished runner-up at Doral a month before. Tiger, Phil and Schwartzel can all be found on the list above, and we know how they've fared in the season's first major. 
  • It's not an accident that the highest score to win occurred last year after the redesign. For starter, the par-5 first hole went from being one of the easiest par 5s on TOUR to a much sterner test. 
  • Length is very important. Let's be serious....Brett Wetterich is on this list. So is Bubba, DJ, Lefty and TW. TW used to be long!
This week, I will take into account current form and course history, as always. I will also consider metrics such as length, total driving, par 4 scoring and par 5 scoring. 

We will return later this week with a power ranking and one-and-done. 

Considering the Monday finish for The Honda Classic, along with the Puerto Rico Open this week, I will post blogs as quickly as I can. It's possible that some posts will be earlier or later than usual. Thanks for your flexibility. 

Happy research!

6 comments:

  1. How bout some 3-ball picks this week? Power rankings are lame.

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  2. Tony Finau is lame. Awesome year so far Sully! Keep it up

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  3. I'm not denying the awesomeness. But 3-ball picks is where it's at. Anyone can make a power rankings list and put the 20 best golfers on it. Yawn.

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    1. I appreciate the suggestion, but 3-ball picks aren't my thing. I like to only provide advice specific to games that I play. My Yahoo! and Golf Channel picks are published at Rotoworld.com, and I currently rank 8th overall in the Golf Channel Game and 21st overall in the Yahoo! game. I use my own power rankings as a baseline for those games.
      I agree with you that there is probably a market out there for 3-ball picks. I just can't be everything to everyone, and do so with some substance behind what I'm doing.
      Best of luck!

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  4. Tony, any relation to the PGA Tour Tony. Also, what are 3 ball picks?

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  5. No, I just run the Tony Finau fan club. 3-balls are the threesome groups that you can bet on each round. Way more fun than fantasy golf leagues. Especially tough this week though since the they are grouped in order based on rankings.

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