WGC – Cadillac Championship preview

Patrick Reed defends in the WGC - Cadillac Championship

Patrick Reed defends WGC - Cadillac Championship
Patrick Reed defends WGC - Cadillac Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The best players in the world are in Florida this week for the first World Golf Championship event of 2015. Patrick Reed defends in the WGC – Cadillac Championship at Doral.

Lowdown: The best players in the world are in Florida this week for the first World Golf Championship event of 2015. Patrick Reed defends in the WGC – Cadillac Championship at Doral.

Since it was first hosted in 1999, Tiger Woods has won this event seven times, most recently in 2013 when he finished two clear of Steve Stricker. Tiger doesn’t play this season as he’s dropped to 75th on the Official World Golf Ranking and is taking a break from competitive action as he struggles with injury and short game woes.

In last year’s tournament, Patrick Reed held on to win by a shot from Bubba Watson and Jamie Donaldson. All three of those players will fancy their chances again this week, but they’ll face stern opposition. It’s a limited field this week – just 74 players, and all 50 of the World’s Top 50 will tee it up.

Originally designed by Dick Wilson, the TPC Blue Monster has played host to PGA Tour events for almost half a century. The Doral Open was contested over the layout between 1962 and 2006.

The track was revamped by Gil Hanse for last year’s tournament and it proved to be a significant challenge. The average score for the week was 73.852 – not helped by an average of 76 on day two thanks to strong winds.

The weather forecast for this week looks more gentle. There might be some rain, but it should be generally warm with just light breezes.

Venue: Blue Monster, Trump National Doral, Florida Date: Mar 5-8 Course stats: par 72, 7,528 yards Purse: $9,250,000 Winner: $1,570,000 Defending Champion: Patrick Reed (-4)

TV Coverage: Thursday 5 – Sky Sports 4 from 6pm Friday 6 – Sky Sports 4 from 6pm Saturday 7 – Sky Sports 4 from 5.30pm Sunday 8 – Sky Sports 4 from 5.30pm

Player Watch: Dustin Johnson – A missed cut at PGA National was a blip on his return to form. He had two top-four finishes prior to that. He was also tied fourth in this event last year.

Hideki Matsuyama – The Japanese player has been on great form over the past few months. He has four top-four finishes on the PGA Tour this year.

Jamie Donaldson – Tied second here last year and sixth in the Honda – the planets are aligning for Donaldson!

Key hole: 18th. It’s an extremely challenging par four. Water lurks all down the left side and the fairway is extremely narrow. It generally plays as the hardest hole on the course and always provides the possibility of last-minute drama.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?