Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Will the "Big 3" be trumped at the Monster - Cadillac Championship 2016

The first of the 2016 World Golf Championships returns to Donald Trump's Doral on Thursday where Dustin Johnson will defend. The course having undergone huge development over two years ago, saw scoring dramatically higher in 2015 & 2014 than in previous years, and reports from the course this year suggests that the course has been re-altered to give the not so bigger drivers a chance by replacing bunkers in some of the fairways, but by all accounts, the course still remains a brutally long course. Dustin led JB Holmes and Bubba Watson home twelve months ago and it looks as if the bigger hitters should fare as well again this time round. These three are currently within the TOP-7 on the PGA Tour for Driving Distance this season, just ahead of the in-form, Adam Scott, Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy. The cream usually rises to the top here at Doral and the roll of honour reads a who's who of World Golf, which I suppose is just what a World Golf Championship should produce. It's a very competitive championship where favouritism is contested between the defending champion, Bubba & Rory. Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Jason Day are are all well supported too but Spieth arrives out of form somewhat, lacks the distance of these guys and is drawn alongside Rory which seems to result in being out scored by the Irishman more often than not. Rickie looks tired from endeavours the past few weeks and Day has no course form worth talking about. Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose just behind them in the betting make far better appeal. With Justin Rose firmly in my thoughts for Augusta I'm hoping for a decent showing here without a "W" come Sunday. Bubba declared this week that the course is playing soft and long this week which further emphasizes the importance of being a big hitter to contend and therefore I have to look at those top players who can bomb it down there!

The shortlist for this week includes all decent drivers of the ball with perhaps the exception of Bill Haas. Bill is no slouch at an average of 285 but he will lose a lot of distance to the aforementioned bombers above but he has solid form at Doral on both the old and new designs.If anything his returns the past two stagings are probably his finest having finished 7th and 6th. I like his chances to perform well without maybe winning so a TOP10 bet @ 7.00 makes some appeal for me. Ever consistent, he may just be contented to finish as high as possible here and that will do me fine.

Likewise, in the TOP20 markets I am drawn to two non-PGA Tour players in the form of Ross Fisher and Scott Hend. 
The Aussie is a bomber, who averages over 300 yards and has Doral form by his TOP20 finish of two years ago. His price of 9.00 with Paddypower is very tempting. He missed the cut last time out in Malaysia but his TOP10 in Dubai previously is worth noting. A recent winner in Macau also, the Brisbane boy won't be fancied by many but the sports car fanatic could be a surprise packet where his driving will serve him well. Ross is a bit short for my liking but the course should be to his liking.

So, who will win this week? Bubba is bound to go close again as will Dustin Johnson and Adam Scott and of the three I'd have to go with Bubba. We saw in 2015, Spieth dominating for a period before Jason Day grabbed the limelight for a month and a half and the trend has continued in 2016 with Rickie Fowler dominating the form books early on. Adam Scott does appear to be the player in the dominant form at present alongside Bubba, and it wouldn't be a surprise at all should he go back to back. Its that open this week and it's a week I'm prepared to ignore the outright markets as I cant differ between Bubba, DJ & Adam so I'll stick with Haas in the TOP10 and shout on Scott Hend for a TOP20.


3.50 pts TOP10 B.Haas @ 7.00
2.50 pts TOP20 S.Hend @ 9.00

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