The world’s best rock up at a revamped TPC Blue Monster at Doral Country Club from Thursday, as the PGA Tour and more contest the WGC-Cadillac Championship in Florida.
The last WGC affair kicked off without three of the planet’s top four and while the entire top 50 are scheduled to go to post this week, there is a slight doubt about defending champion Tiger Woods (14/1).
The world number one withdrew midway through the back nine of the Honda Classic on Sunday citing a bad back.
Given his 2014 form of MC-41-WD, I won’t be tipping Woods even if he does show up, but if treatment doesn’t help with his back spasms the market will certainly be affected, probably leaving Rory McIlroy alone at the top of the betting at 7/1.
However, last week, the Ulsterman’s second choke of the season at odds-on – his Sunday splutter at Palm Beach came a month after another final day meltdown in Dubai – means he is jolly to avoid.
Not that you should be looking for another 300/1 winner, as Russell Henley was last week, given the average price of the champion in the seven year history of this WGC event being held at the Miami venue is just over 18/1.
There are four players shorter than 20/1 in the market and of them Adam Scott makes the most appeal at 12/1.
The Australian has good form (6-13-6 last three visits) at the Blue Monster, although what that’s worth is debatable, as Gil Hanse, the man responsible for the renovations, has admitted only the signature 18th hole has stayed almost as it was.
However, after shaking off almost two months of rust to post an impressive 12th place at the Honda Classic on Sunday, Scott should be in tune to tackle the refurbished track.
The Masters champion has current form of 1-1-3-2-6-8-12 coming into this week.
Sergio Garcia, at 20/1, only just missed out on rewarding followers at Palm Beach, and with a better week on the greens he could easily win for the third time in six starts at a venue he has twice finished third.
Lastly, Rickie Fowler looks overpriced at 66/1 to reproduce the form that saw him make the semi-finals of the WGC Match Play a fortnight ago (which ultimately got him into the field this week). He drove the ball much straighter at the Honda and didn’t post a round over par on a tough layout.
My three off the tee – Scott (12/1), Garcia (20/1) and Fowler (66/1).