The WGC - Cadillac Championship from the newly renovated Blue Monster at Doral is the next stop on the PGA Tour. Ironically, the most popular events like this are by far my least favourite in terms of betting but as usual there are a few angles worth looking at and players for me that offer some EW value and a couple that catch the eye in the subsidiary markets. Read on for full preview and follow me on Twitter: @Nicspicks for more tips and insight.
Nicspicks' WGC Cadillac championship man to beat: Adam Scott 12/1
Market #negatives: Dustin Johnson 16/1, Sergio Garcia 18/1
Likely steamers: Matt Kuchar 33/1
The course: Blue Monster at Doral - par: 72; length: 7,481 yards
Key features: added length on numerous holes; fairway contouring, green redesign that requires ball placement from tee shots for optimum approach angle, Green undulations / run offs into more penal bunkering, new strategically placed fairway bunkers, Bermuda rough
NB: Usually one of the easier courses on and around the greens, we should see a shift in emphasis from the putter to tee to green play, arguably rendering previous course form null and void. My selections this week largely reflect this point.
Premium on: course management/ ball placement from tee shots, shot shaping; approach shot choice/ accuracy, "controlling your ball in the wind" - Butch Harmon
WGC - Cadillac championship selections (prices from members email)
Pick #1: Hunter Mahan 40/1
Course form: 25-24-9 ; current form: 16-52-6-4
Key stats: Total driving: 4th; Ball striking: 15th
Other: Tee to green specialist may find the course transition to his taste. Game looked in decent shape at Dove mountain.
Pick #2: Webb Simpson 40/1
Course form: 20-35; current form: 16-70-10 #simmering
Key stats: Total driving: 22nd; all-round: 2nd; sand save: 32nd
Other: stats wise, one of the best performers on tour this year and putter looks to be back at it's peak. 40/1 relatively good value for a player ready to make a run at victory.
Pick #3: Lee Westwood 40/1
Course form: 25-29-18; current form: 46-20
Key stats: 25th in total driving
Other: Positive signs recently with a top 20 at Riviera and opened 68-65 to be right there coming to the weekend at PGA National (two ball strikers courses). Recently reunited with caddy Billie Foster and split from Sean Foley and going back to "feel" and basics seems to be working.
Pick #1: Jim Furyk 66/1
Course form:35-49-37-3-2 ; current form: 8-23-35
Key stats: (2013) driving accuracy: 4th; 10th in approaches from 150-200 yards
Other: Impressive come from behind win v Harris English at Dove Mountain - his third 2014 match win at a venue that doesn't suit. Top tens in six of last 10 events on PGA tour and one of the best at positioning himself from the tee, and the better long iron players on tour
Pick #1: Jamie Donaldson
Course form: 63; current form: 55-20
Key stats: n/a
Other: Opened 65-69 at Honda last week. T3 after day 1 and his driving ability is what grabs my attention for the new Doral. Flagged up by friend Shane Lowry as one to watch this week.
Subsidiary bet: Gonzalo Fdez Castano (225/1) now lives in Miami where he says there is a nice home feel with a good Spanish contingent. He regards the Blue Monster as his "new home course" and his swing coach works from Doral. Three rounds under par over the weekend at Honda, and precision tee to green game again stands out.
Others from shortlist: Kuchar 33/1; Donald 45/1; Matsuyama; Kirk 90/1
WGC - Cadillac Championship finalised staking plan (prices from members email)
1u ew Webb Simpson @ 40/1 (general)
1u ew H. Mahan @ 40/1 (general)
0.75u ew J. Furyk @ 66/1 (general)
0.75u ew L. Westwood @ 66/1 (general)
1u ew J. Donaldson top Euro @ 40/1(Skybet, Spreadex)
1u Gonzo Fdez Castano top 10 @ 16/1 (Stans, Coral, Spreadex, BFFO)
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