Photo Gallery

Apr. 27 - May. 3, 2015
March 4-8, 2015
Jul. 31 - Aug. 3, 2014
November 6-9, 2014
    • Power Rankings: WGC-Cadillac Championship

    • Despite a rocky finish Sunday, Rory Mcilroy is still a favorite this week according to our expert. (Franklin/Getty Images) Despite a rocky finish Sunday, Rory Mcilroy is still a favorite this week according to our expert. (Franklin/Getty Images)

    The World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship not only hosts the first heavily anticipated redesign of 2014 -- Pinehurst No. 2 will have its day in court in June for the U.S. Open -- but Trump National Doral is the first of two widely advertised projects headed by architect Gil Hanse. When golf returns to the Summer Olympic Games in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Hanse will again emerge as a focal point.

    About the only facet of the Blue Monster Course that hasn't changed is its par of 72 (36 on each nine). Dick Wilson's original design of 1961 is simply no more. Hanse himself has described the layout as a new golf course.

    Each of the 18 holes has a new measurement. While eight of them are shorter than pre-overhaul, the aggregate yardage is up 147 yards to a beefy 7,481. Lengthened 63 yards, the par-5 10th hole was extended the most; it's now the longest test on the course at 614 yards. It's also one of seven stretched at least 20 yards. The largest cut occurred at the par-3 fourth, which now read 203 yards on the card, a reduction of 33 yards since last year. Updated irrigation and stadium seating are modern benefits that have been added to the overall value.

    Each of the 18 greens has been recreated, too. This was arguably the area that required the greatest improvement on the property. While last year's field ranked a respective eighth and 13th in fairways and greens hit as compared to all courses on the PGA TOUR, scrambling, one-putt percentage and three-putt avoidance ranked among the easiest. Blue Monster's scoring average of 71.354 ranked seventh-lowest among 19 par 72s, a fact not lost on new owner Donald Trump.

    The impact on the 69 golfers that qualified could resemble the feeling you get after rearranging furniture in a room where you live. When you sit down, the horizon will look familiar, but sightlines are new. Therefore, course management and a confident swing upon arrival should be critical given the course presents a blank slate in terms of experience.

    A front will barge its way through midweek, bringing an elevated risk of rain, thunderstorms and gusty winds by Thursday. Dry conditions, gradually clearing skies and calmer breezes will chase it out by Friday. Seasonable temperatures around 80 degrees are expected throughout.

    RANKINGS: WGC-Cadillac Championship

    RANK

    PLAYER

    COMMENT

    1 Rory McIlroy Rory McIlroy

    Failed to slam the door on a would-be, outright wire-to-wire title at PGA National, but the P2 is his fourth top two in 10 starts worldwide.

    Failed to slam the door on a would-be, outright wire-to-wire title at PGA National, but the P2 is his fourth top two in 10 starts worldwide.

    2 Dustin Johnson Dustin Johnson

    Five top sixes and a T12 in his last six official events. Leads TOUR in GIR, adjusted scoring, all-around, par-4 and par-5 scoring.

    Five top sixes and a T12 in his last six official events. Leads TOUR in GIR, adjusted scoring, all-around, par-4 and par-5 scoring.

    3 Bubba Watson Bubba Watson

    Won his last stroke-play start (Northern Trust); tied for second in the previous (WMPO). Leads TOUR in driving distance and ball-striking.

    Won his last stroke-play start (Northern Trust); tied for second in the previous (WMPO). Leads TOUR in driving distance and ball-striking.

    4 Adam Scott Adam Scott

    Ended six-week break with a T12 at the Honda, the worst finish in his last eight starts. Ranked second in the all-around at PGA National.

    Ended six-week break with a T12 at the Honda, the worst finish in his last eight starts. Ranked second in the all-around at PGA National.

    5 Sergio Garcia Sergio Garcia

    A T8 at Honda was eighth top 10 in 11 starts worldwide; the other three are top 20s. Would sit T2 in par-4 scoring if eligible for rankings.

    A T8 at Honda was eighth top 10 in 11 starts worldwide; the other three are top 20s. Would sit T2 in par-4 scoring if eligible for rankings.

    6 Jim Furyk Jim Furyk

    Rested after a 3-1 slate at the WGC-Accenture Match Play. Six top 10s in his last 10 PGA TOUR starts.

    Rested after a 3-1 slate at the WGC-Accenture Match Play. Six top 10s in his last 10 PGA TOUR starts.

    7 Jordan Spieth Jordan Spieth

    That this is another debut hasn't mattered in the last 12 months. Twelve top 10s and another six top 25s during that stretch.

    That this is another debut hasn't mattered in the last 12 months. Twelve top 10s and another six top 25s during that stretch.

    8 Zach Johnson Zach Johnson

    Opened 2014 with a win and two more top 10s, essentially extending last year's second-half form. Lead TOUR in fairways hit; third in GIR.

    Opened 2014 with a win and two more top 10s, essentially extending last year's second-half form. Lead TOUR in fairways hit; third in GIR.

    9 Hunter Mahan Hunter Mahan

    All or nothing of late in stroke play with two top sixes and two finishes outside the top 45 in 2014. Went 2-1 at the Match Play.

    All or nothing of late in stroke play with two top sixes and two finishes outside the top 45 in 2014. Went 2-1 at the Match Play.

    10 Harris English Harris English

    Six top 10s on the season, four of which in last five starts. Currently eighth in GIR, ninth in scrambling and fifth in adjusted scoring.

    Six top 10s on the season, four of which in last five starts. Currently eighth in GIR, ninth in scrambling and fifth in adjusted scoring.

    11 Webb Simpson Webb Simpson

    A 2-1 week at the Match Play served as his fifth top 10 in seven starts this season. Ranks second in strokes gained-putting and all-around.

    A 2-1 week at the Match Play served as his fifth top 10 in seven starts this season. Ranks second in strokes gained-putting and all-around.

    12 Luke Donald Luke Donald

    Fulfilled his projection in this space at the Honda with a T8. Ranked third in strokes gained-putting at PGA National.

    Fulfilled his projection in this space at the Honda with a T8. Ranked third in strokes gained-putting at PGA National.

    13 Keegan Bradley Keegan Bradley

    Riding a strange streak of 13 top 20s in his last 17 stroke-play starts, but only two were top 10s. Tied for 12th at The Honda Classic.

    Riding a strange streak of 13 top 20s in his last 17 stroke-play starts, but only two were top 10s. Tied for 12th at The Honda Classic.

    14 Matt Kuchar Matt Kuchar

    A missed cut at Riviera taints an otherwise spectacular run since November. Top 10s in each of his other seven starts since.

    A missed cut at Riviera taints an otherwise spectacular run since November. Top 10s in each of his other seven starts since.

    15 Charl Schwartzel Charl Schwartzel

    Stunning missed cut (by seven strokes) at the Honda is a rare blemish in a run of seven top 10s in his last 12 stroke-play starts.

    Stunning missed cut (by seven strokes) at the Honda is a rare blemish in a run of seven top 10s in his last 12 stroke-play starts.

    16 Jason Day Jason Day

    The WGC-Accenture Match Play champ has just one top-15 finish in his career in the state of Florida (T6, 2011 PLAYERS Championship).

    The WGC-Accenture Match Play champ has just one top-15 finish in his career in the state of Florida (T6, 2011 PLAYERS Championship).

    17 Victor Dubuisson Victor Dubuisson

    Clutch up-and-downs at Dove Mountain aside, he exhibited a fearless aerial assault on the flags en route a runner-up finish.

    Clutch up-and-downs at Dove Mountain aside, he exhibited a fearless aerial assault on the flags en route a runner-up finish.

    18 Rickie Fowler Rickie Fowler

    Extended solid form following a solo third at the Match Play with a T24 at PGA National where he was steady: 3-under 69-69-69-70=277.

    Extended solid form following a solo third at the Match Play with a T24 at PGA National where he was steady: 3-under 69-69-69-70=277.

    19 Phil Mickelson Phil Mickelson

    Failed to score at PGA National where he hit 22 greens but circled only four birdies. Documented supporter of Gil Hanse.

    Failed to score at PGA National where he hit 22 greens but circled only four birdies. Documented supporter of Gil Hanse.

    20 Tiger Woods Tiger Woods

    Defending champ has four victories at the Blue Monster and ranks first in all-time earnings in the event, but a back injury is concerning.

    Defending champ has four victories at the Blue Monster and ranks first in all-time earnings in the event, but a back injury is concerning.

    comments powered by Disqus
  • file