2016 WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral Picks, Including the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #isitThursdayyet

Happy Doral week peeps!  Regardless what you think of Donald Trump, no question about it that the renovation he had architect Gil Hanse do to resurrect the Doral joint has it once again living up to its daunting name—The Blue Monster.  And ah yes, this week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral field is absolutely stacked to boot! 

Hanse, (also the designer of this year’s Olympics course in Rio de Janiero, Brazil) previously called the changes “a new golf course,” meaning that results prior to the redesign in 2014 can be effectively thrown out the window, as the 7,543 yards it now stretches resemble little to nothing of the prior bomb-and-gouge pushover that it had become.  Look for long hitters to thrive once again this week just like last year when Dustin Johnson man-muscled his way to victory.

A not so great week for my picks last week at the Honda Classic, although I did spot on nail world #11 Branden Grace to miss the cut as my BUST of the week (which he did by four shots).

Now, let’s hop into some picks for this week:

LOCKZILLA (Last week: Casey t-43rd)

Rory
Rory McIlroy
– Following a Sunday implosion at Riviera and a MC last week at the Honda, everyone is suddenly wondering what’s up with Rory?  Is it the excessive weight-lifting?  Post-engagement letdown?  Too much globetrotting between Tours?  Wisdom tooth pain?  As Aaron Rodgers once famously said, R-E-L-A-X.  Rory will be just fine.  In fact, he’s fine right now.  Welcome to new-age Doral, where bomb-and-gouge is exactly what course architect Donald Trump Gil Hanse ordered, and that’s what Rory does best.  A little change of scenery, less foot-trafficy greens (field is half the size this week as compared to last), a world-class field and poof, the motivation and everything else is aligned for a big week.  Hopefully he just doesn’t chuck his 3-iron into the water this week.  Calling it right now that Rory takes home the trophy this week.

SEMI-FLIER (Last week: Woodland t-61st)

Marc Leishman
Marc Leishman
– It’s Leishman’s first start at Doral post-renovation, but have no fear, he’s no stranger to WGC events, most recently finishing t-11th in November at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.  In his last PGA Tour start two weeks ago, he finished t-5th at Riviera with all 4 rounds in the 60’s, easily his best ever finish at the revered track.  I’m taking that positive momentum and carrying it forward into this week, where it’ll couple well with his distance off the tee and prowess for attacking firm, tough courses.  Look for a top 10 finish from the 32-year-old Aussie this week.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST (Last week: Grace MC)

Bubba Watson
Bubba Watson
– It might seem borderline ridiculous to fade Bubba right now, as he comes into the week on the heels of both a victory two weeks ago at Riviera and finishes of t-2nd and solo 3rd here the past two years, so let me explain my fade angle.  First, in his next starts in official PGA Tour events following a PGA Tour victory, Bubba’s results go like this: MC, t-29th, t-48th, t-18th, t-2nd, t-48th, 10th, t-13th.  Progressively better over the years (and yes that t-2nd was here two years ago after he also won at Riviera), but not Bubba golf great.  Second and most importantly, Bubba hates this course, HATES IT.  In the past, he’s been quoted as saying, “I can’t stand the golf course.  It’s way too tough for me.”  You might be saying to yourselves, “Well, Bubba can win on any course.”  Well, that’s mostly true, but expecting him to play well on a course that he despises for three consecutive years and following a victory is just not something I’m going to predict.  In a tourney that doesn’t have a cut, it’s unrealistic to expect that he’ll play poorly for all 4 rounds, but paying up for him is something I highly recommend this week as he won’t sniff the top 10.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK (Last week: de Jonge MC)

Danny Willett
Danny Willett– Has there ever been a player more quietly sitting at 15th in the World Rankings?  Not that I can remember, at least not anytime recently.  All that Willett does is produce and continue his ascension upwards, as most recently he took home the trophy in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic on the European Tour against a very solid field, which included Rory and Henrik.  Add in that he finished t-12th here last year and t-3rd in the most recent WGC event in November and boom, talk about a sleeper primed to pounce.  Danny Willett is your Driver-off-the-Deck BOLD play of the week!

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

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