THE Blue Monster Course at Trump National Doral is well named. It’s one of the longest courses on the PGA Tour (7543 yards) and has plenty of water.
This week it hosts the WGC Cadillac with 48 of the world’s 50 top players taking part so expect to see some sparkling golf. It may not be low scoring though as last year the scoring average was 73.24 and 73.85 the year before but it should be exciting as the course can be quite penal especially if the wind gets up.
First up is my favourite player of the moment Brooks Koepka. He has everything that is needed to play this course.
Hits the ball well over 300 yards (10th in the rankings) which is going to be important here. His GIR is just under 70%, strokes gained: putting of .363 and a 48.65% birdie or better on par 5s which is also going to be important. Definitely in with a chance.
Another one of my Six of the Best for this year is Patrick Reed. He also hits around 300 yards (averaging 294.6 yards), GIR is 71.50% and birdie or better on par 5s 54.17% (22nd). I’m going to forget his missed cut last week (he is allowed it after the way he has played this season). A second and three top-10s from seven starts on the PGA Tour is good form and hopefully he’ll get back to that form this week.
JB Holmes led in each of the first three rounds here last year but couldn’t hang on, finishing with a 75. A brilliant 62 in the first round showed what can be done on the Blue Mountain Course (but not often).
With five two T6s and two T11s in his last four outings this year his form is steady. Driving distance of 312 yard (3rd) and GIR of 68.61% and 47% chance of birdie at par 5s he’s another I think has a chance.
My fourth pick is the form man of the year Rickie Fowler. With four top-five finishes from his last five outings he is hot. His driving average is 300 yards (30th), GIR of 72.72% (21st) and strokes gained:putting .873 (5th). His birdie or better stat on par 5s is 63.89% (1st) and that could make the difference between winning and being an also ran.
After having a bad AT&T at windy Pebble Beach Dustin Johnson got back some form with four sub-70 rounds in the Northern Trust Open two weeks ago for a solo fourth.
We all know the defending champion hits a long ball (308 yards average) but his other stats all stack up with GIR of 70% and he also sits sixth in birdies or better for par 5s with 60.53%.
WGC Cadillac Championship
1.5pts ew Brooks Koepka (35-1, Betfred)
1.5pts ew Patrick Reed (40-1, 888sport)
1.5pts ew JB Holmes (28-1, bet365)
1.5pts ew Rickie Fowler (16-1, William Hill)
1.5pts ew Dustin Johnson (12-1, Ladbrokes)
Watch out for inplay tips and comments on the members’ forum
Not the greatest start for my picks on the first day of the WGC Cadillac with two of my selections at plus five!
Patrick Reed is in a kind of a slump at the moment with five bogeys and a double bogey yesterday.
However, on the other hand Fowler (-2), Koepka (-1) and DJ (evens) are doing okay. Danny Willet (-4) got off to a great start just two off the lead.
Can he keep it up? Phil Mickelson had seven birdies in his round of 67 (-5), with last week’s winner Adam Scott (68) two back from the leaders. Jordan Spieth, Jimmy Walker and Bubba Watson are a further shot back and it looks like the top players are making sure there in the right place to pounce at the weekend.
I’ve put up some match bets and other tips on the forum.