On Super Tuesday, Donald Trump bombed the republican party competition across the board and is becoming the clear choice for the republican run for the White House. At Doral this week, despite Gil Hanses efforts to make the course a little more playable for all, it will be once again a bombers only contest.
Last year, No. 1, 2 and 3 on the leaderboard – Dustin Johnson, J.B. Holmes and Bubba Watson – also ranked third, second and first, respectively, in driving distance for the week. This year, 10 of the top 20 leaders on the PGA Tour in driving distance, will be in the WGC Championship. It’s safe to bet that at least one of them, or maybe all 4, will be in the final groups on Sunday.[slideshow_deploy id=’20971′]
What makes Doral such a long hitters track? At 7,543 yards, it’s one of the longest on the PGA TOUR. All 15 yards of this year’s increase occurred at the par-5 1st, which now tips out at 605 yards, and when a course is as penal as this one, length off the tee can be a tremendous advantage.
The Blue Monster yielded a scoring average of 73.240 last year. While that ranked third-highest among par 72s for the season, it was tame in comparison to its 73.852 in 2014 when strong winds hit in the second round. Results and statistics prior to then are virtually irrelevant since Gil Hanse literally reshaped the property after Donald Trump’s purchase.
Proving that power matters, in both of the editions contested since, three of the top five on the final leaderboard ranked inside the top four in measured drives for the week. Johnson, Watson and Holmes had a field day on Saturday and Sunday last year.
On Tuesday Bubba gave the first interview and was asked about Donald Trump at the event this year and would it be a distraction with the election. Bubba said, “I think it’s great if there’s a big ruckus when he shows up, because the media gets away from me and you don’t hear the bad comments I say or twist them,” Watson said. “It is going to be different because we’ve never had this . . . For it to be in the middle of a race, yeah, it will be different, but I’m pretty sure he’ll show up at some point.” Officials have said they anticipate Trump being on property at Doral for Sunday’s final round.
The field will be only 75 players in the no-cut format at Doral. One thing is for sure, length will be an advantage but lets not discount the amount of water on this course. It is called the “Blue Monster”, and the water will take its toll as well. Long or not, you have to keep your ball dry first to score here. In the end, it should be a combination of length and touch around the greens that decide this year’s winner. Doral has also had a way of favoring left handed players. So my picks are Watson and Mickelson from the left and Johnson and Koepka from the right.WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?