WGC-Cadillac: Blue Monster at Doral was dull and needed upgrading
Rob Lee assesses why The Blue Monster at Doral needed upgrading and the form of veteran Ernie Els.
Last Updated: 05/03/14 12:35pm
Tiger Woods won the Cadillac last year with a score of 19-under-par, while Justin Rose and Nick Watney (-16) picked up birdies at will in 2012 and 2011 respectively.
Not only were the top players finding things easy but the course also looked dull, so I think that a big revamp was needed to keep Doral as a premier location for a PGA Tour event.
Other than the water-infested last hole, which everybody rightfully raves about, it was pretty bland so I cannot wait to see how Donald has 'Trumpified' things when the Cadillac kicks off on Thursday.
I think Trump's plan was to throw the kitchen sink at it and make things more pleasing on the eye and the golf course better, and with 14 of the holes now having water hazards, it will be picturesque at least.
We'll know if Donald has got it right if players have to hit good shots, one thing they don't like!
Players like to have a bit of leeway on one side and know that if they miss right, for example, that they still have a chance.
There were holes like that last week at Palm Beach for the Honda Classic and if we get some more in Doral we are in for a treat.
Tiger has been the king of this course in the past, winning the Cadillac seven times, probably because of the room he got, which meant he was not stuffed if he went squint off the tee.
Despite these alterations, Woods - provided the back injury which forced him to pull out of the Honda holds up - should fancy his chances of winning an eighth title, but I think his countrymen, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Harris English will contend.
Adam Scott - who could get past Tiger and become world number one this week - will feel confident, as well as fellow Australian Jason Day, following his triumph at the WGC-Accenture Match Play in Arizona last month.
Rose, though, is struggling with a shoulder injury and I think he could be out of the picture for a little while as it will take him time to not only get fully fit, but get back the sharpness you need to fight at the top level.
Ernie Els, however, is the only other man, besides Tiger, to win the Cadillac on multiple occasions, and it is great to see him still doing well at the age of 44 and having a legitimate chance of winning in Doral for a third time.
He has gone back to the short putter and found a way to hole a few putts at the Match Play, where he made the semis, so it will be interesting to see if he can keep that going.
Els is taking that into a strokeplay event now and holing out in these sorts of tournaments is vastly different to getting through matchplay rounds, so this will give us a good indication of where he is at with his game.
He has been a great player in the past and if it wasn't for Tiger could gave had seven or eight Majors to his name, not just four - but he should also be proud of how many times he has gone close in the big four.
People remember your Major victories more than anything else, but Ernie was gunning for a probably-unwanted Grand Slam of second places in 2000 after finishing as runner-up at the Masters, US Open and Open Championship, though he didn't quite do enough at that year's PGA Championship at Valhalla.
That shows you just how good he is.
ROB'S WGC-CADILLAC TIPS
It's hard to argue that anyone is playing much better than Rory McIlroy at the moment and after letting good chances get away in Abu Dhabi and at the Honda Classic, he will be mad keen to put that right as soon as possible, preferably before Augusta.
As an 50/1 outsider with Sky Bet, I am going for Rickie Fowler, who has worked really hard with Butch Harmon and made a significant change to his swing. There were signs at the Match Play that that was starting to pay dividends so we might see a Rickie Fowler week.
Check out all Sky Bet's WGC Cadillac odds