WGC-CA Championship preview: Watch out for the wind Tiger
To see Tiger Woods strolling around Doral happily chatting and joking with his buddy Roger Federer, you wouldn’t think he had a care in the world. It certainly isn’t the demeanour of a man tearing his insides out over last week’s abysmal performance at Bay Hill. Which is why the white flag of surrender already flutters atop my computer terminal. At the Doral, you take Tiger Woods on at your peril.
This is his course and his tournament, now two events have been controversially rolled into one to suit the FedEx Cup competition. He’s won his last two outings in the old Doral Championship and four of his last five WGC-(insert latest sponsor here) Championships. Pretty hard to argue with, even if the WGC has shifted from one end of the season to the other.
Despite last week, Tiger tops my stats for this competition. For the first time in the Florida swing the course gives far more scope to the distance players, although excellent approach work is still probably going to be the premier ingredient. With the greens likely to play firm and fast a hot putter is as always advisable.
Those brave enough to take Tiger on however can take some heart from the fact that this is again likely to be a quite windy event - gusts of near 30mph have been forecast for Thursday - and Tiger is not too fond of that. They may also smile at his talk of kinks in his swing, but I’ve learned to take a lot of what Tiger says with a pinch of salt. Any serious kinks are in his mind.
Still, if Tiger is going to go wonky on us again, who?
Ernie Els: In form and apparently gushing about his new Callaway gear. It’s well past time for him to start winning again on the US Tour. He is a past winner both sides of the tournament coin.
Robert Allenby: A disappointing blip last week in what has been a super season. A win still beckons, although his Doral/WGC record is not much to shout home about.
Stewart Cink: His stats say he should be performing much better than he has been. We may see something better here even though his record doesn’t shout it.
Retief Goosen: Some decent returns in this competition and looks to be hitting form. Fast greens should suit him.
John Rollins: I’m going to keep plugging him until he bangs in a result because his efforts so far suggest he so should get one. He’s the top putter in the pack here.
Vijay Singh: after last week’s great win maybe he’s game enough for another. The stats say so, but do his ageing bones? He is the nearly man of both the Doral and WGC with a string of seconds and thirds.
Henrik Stenson: He’s already shown enough this season and in his two previous WGC outings to suggest a strong contender.
Phil Mickelson: Great stats but I’m steering clear because he does not have much of a history in this and is decidedly erratic at the moment.
David Toms: An excellent Doral player having a modest season. Not as excited as some pundits.
Jim Furyk: Dodgy wrist has been giving him gyp again, which may help explain why he has been disappointing this season. Not for me.
Adam Scott: Needs to get his putting back in order.
Arron Oberholser: Hit by injury this season but he’s our top iron man and if he mastered his putting he’d be a big a danger.
Steve Stricker: This season has been the good, the bad and the ugly, and history suggests he really doesn’t have the eye for this course - he’s missed the last three Doral cuts.
Chris DiMarco: Not for me. His record here is poor and he’s well down the distance pecking order.
Sergio Garcia: Putting Sergio, p-u-t-t-i-n-g. Good grief!
|« WGC-CA Championship round one: Tiger said it - his putting's plain pathetic||Arnold Palmer Invitational: Arnie has last laugh as Tiger slinks away »|
The Caribbean house with which a few of us have been wagering has installed Tiger as the favorite at +228.
Since the true odds should be about +325, that seems like the house edge is far too geat.
They don't have Woods in a first round imaginary matchup, but they do have Tiger in a tournament four round matchup against Retief at -388. Goosen is at +368 so I put $100 on him against Woods.
I also bet $200 on Padraig +130 against Phil and $200 on KJ +149 against Ernie
Since I am ahead $987 on last week's Palmer, I'm in the mood to plunge.
out this bulshit "hit it hard and go find it golf".
Check this! how many eagles have he made in the last year?
The "kinks in his swing" ---- " are in his mind".
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