Wednesday, March 07, 2012

wgc cadillac championship

off to Doral in sunny Miami this week for the next part of the Florida swing and the Cadillac Championship; we have a cracking field assembled for what looks to be a very competitive four days of golf and the chance for mcilroy to impress some more, tiger to prove he can putt and plenty of others to remind us all that they are still in the mix too

the weather tends to play a fair part in this as if it blows then the scores will rapidly rise and course management (or damage limitation) will be paramount - a few pleasant balmy days and there should be a chance for some low numbers and those finding the greens and having a hot week with the flat stick will obviously prosper

the course is long at nearly 7,300 yards but that isn't a major problem for those shorter off the tee; placement will matter more and finding those reasonably large greens in the right spot will be the requirement here... there will be plenty of long putt sunk but getting close enough to give yourself a decent chance of birdies really will make a difference

mcilroy was impressive last week for sure but I'm ticking him off this week as it's hard enough to win one let alone two on the trot in this sort of company - his consistency is superb and fair play to the lad if he does win again but those odds don't interest me as they barely cover my 5 usual punts

tiger is close to getting back to his sort of level, ok he won't reach his previous peaks and there are plenty who believe they can beat him these days so that makes a difference but he was hitting the ball really well when he played down under a couple of months back and it seems as if he will be giving himself plenty of chances to shoot low as his swing looks solid and sure - there has been a lot of talk about his putting but I'd be wary of writing him off yet; all it takes is a few 8-10 footers dropping and his confidence in reading the greens will improve and then he may be shooting 65s again regularly

it's a brave man who can confidently say he isn't back and for those who think his game has gone, look at his results - not bad and just because he isn't winning every week doesn't mean he isn't going to win again very soon

what makes this week so mouth-watering is the fact that there are so many top players looking good and seeming to be in prime form - people like stricker are in good nick yet don't seem to be mentioned with all the fuss about tiger and rory

westy is playing consistently well, mickelson has just won one and been beaten in a playoff next, haas has followed up his fedex heroics with another win, DJ is in form with couple of good finishes, mahan has just won the matchplay and kaymer, watney, bradley, donald etc are hardly on a downward spiral 

anyway, I'm going to go with the following picks as I think this week might be tough for rory to manage and he may be slightly off the boil; tiger looks a solid top 10 for me and probably top 5 but at sub 8.0 I'm not jumping on him yet.. this is an event where florida based players and those who like bermuda grass usually do really well but I think the main factor here is the quality of the field and the fact that it will be unlikely that one of the (so-many good) leading contenders does not win

dustin JOHNSON > 29 on betfair is just enough to get to back him based on good recent form, his effort here last yr when he did so well and the fact he admits he is almost there with his game; a few putts dropping and some luck and he could get back to winning ways; also seems to do well at certain courses

charl SCHWARTZEL > in form and was 5th last week so no reason not to stick with backing him and see how he does, 26 is just good enough odds-wise - honda effort included rank 1 in GIR and pretty accurate too, sinks a few and he wins for me... 3.05 for top 10 looks decent

steve STRICKER > 50 betfair tempts me as the guy has really developed into a consistent winner in latter years; needs to step up and win a major or few big events but if the weather is good and scores are low he may really shoot low and get in there and take this

justin ROSE > not someone I often back but had an inkling for him to find his form last week and do well and he managed just that which could be a springboard for him to click and get his game back up to near the level it was at when he started winning on this tour- - probably a better top 10 bet than each way > 65 betfair or 5.3 for a top 10

I fancy these 4 to go well here and will probably have tiger in the top 5 too - also think scott, villegas, fran molinari, haas and possibly byrd may make the top 10 although westy micko kaymer and co will no doubt be likely to do just that

trading > expect a decent show from some of these as their odds look interesting and should make good trades..

mark WILSON at 160, COLSAERTS at 230, LARRAZABAL at 620, BYRD 230 and ROCK 260

best bet > SCHWARTZEL
outrights > DJ, Stricker
top 10 > Rose, Schwartzel
best trade > Byrd 230


  1. schwartzel well placed at -4 (lead -6) and stricker is -3 although he was cruising at -6 after 10 holes! dropped 3 after that unfortunately

    rose -3 too so handy to have 3 of my 4 looking well-placed after the first round; early days though!

  2. schwartzel down to 8-9 to lay which is good, rose and stricker lower too

    top 10 bets > schwartzel down to 1.65 to lay so that's an easy trade, rose down too so both those have done well

  3. rose now 6.8 to lay overall from 65 back so that's good.. and just 1.4 to lay in the top 10 market so nice green screens this week

  4. rose went on to win despite a bogey on the 18th whilst bubba found a rare (on that hole) birdie to force a playoff... top week with schwartzel going well and the two top 10 bets coming in as well