The cream of the golfing world descends on Miami’s Trump National Doral course for the second World Golf Championship event of the season, the Cadillac Championship, and it’s safe to say the most intense focus will surround the top-ranked player on the planet.
Moreover, the golfing fraternity will be intrigued to see how Jordan Spieth reacts to a first missed cut in seven starts last time out at the Northern Trust, to follow on from a 21st-place finish at the AT&T Pebble Beach prior to that.
Hardly a catastrophe even by the Texan’s astronomically high standards, but this must be the first time since he slipped the Green Jacket on for size last April that the world number one has failed to go off favourite for a tournament.
As a point of reference, the last time he sat out the weekend of a tournament Spieth followed it up with aT13 at the BMW Championship in September 2015.
Instead it’s Rory McIroy who begins the WGC Cadillac as the 8/1 market leader, relegating Spieth to a humiliating four-way share of second favouritism, alongside reigning champion Dustin Johnson and the last two winners on the PGA Tour, Adam Scott and Bubba Watson, at 12s.
It’s a slightly strange one given the Northern Irishman also missed the cut on his last start at the Honda Classic, a tournament he’s relished in the past.
Four top-10 postings in Miami, compared to a best finish of 17th in two prior Cadillac appearances, have to be behind McIlroy leapfrogging his American counterpart in the betting.
If either can bring their A game though and lift the trophy, it would be a huge marker to lay down with the season’s first major tracking into view on the horizon.
Any of DJ, Scott or Bubba appear better value bets than McIlroy and Spieth on paper, both in recent Cadillac form and the way they’ve been striking the ball most recently.
Down the betting and flying the flag for Europe, Danny Willett may be one to keep a close eye on at 66/1.
He closed out in 68 to finish 12th here a year ago and over the past 10 months his seven top-five finishes include a pair of victories.
If Louis Oosthuizen can shake off some jet lag after victory in Australia, the South African also ranks a tantalising bet at 33s, having led the field in par-5 scoring 12 months ago en route to solo sixth.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.