This course has undergone some serious surgery in the last two years with Donald Trump pumping 250 million dollars into the course to add length and increase the overall difficulty of the blue monster.
The course has four par 5’s, four par 3’s and 10 par 4’s and has an extra 47 yards added from last year. The par 5 first has 18 yards added to it, the par 3 fourth has an extra 24 yards and the par 4 eighteenth has an extra 5 yards added to it. These changes have made the Trump Doral inside the top five longest host courses on the PGA Tour.
Patrick Reed won this event last year shooting the highest score in the tournaments history finishing on 284 on four under par. Over the years, length has been of particular importance in this event. With this course now over 7,500 yards in length, it will be even more important so be on the lookout for bombers with good driving stats that are showing good recent form.
There are some main stats to consider going on previous years. Although length is key, par 4 scoring, par 5 scoring, GIR and total driving will be key here. This course is made for the likes of Bubba, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed and Phil Mickelson. The usual mix of good current form and good previous form on this course will also be worth checking out, especially last year, which was the first year the course changes took place.
Bubba Watson 14/1
Bubba has been playing very consistent golf lately and hasn’t finished outside the top 15 in his last five events. His good form began back in November when he won the WGC HSBC Champions in Shanghai, where he finished on 11 under par. He then went on to finish T11 at The Hero World Challenge, solo 10th at The Hyundai Tournament of Champions and T2 at The Phoenix Open. Most recently, he had a good week at The Northern Trust Open finishing in a respectable T14 on two under for the tournament.
His record here at Doral is quite impressive finishing T2 last year, T18 in 2013 and solo 2nd in 2012. He ranks 11th in driving distance averaging 303 yards off the tee, sixth in strokes gained tee to green and first in strokes gained total. He also ranks first in par 5 scoring, 33rd in par 4 scoring and 25th in par 3 scoring. After taking the week off last week, Bubba should be fresh and ready to get in contention this week.
Dustin Johnson 20/1
Dustin Johnson made his return to the PGA Tour at The Farmers Insurance Open in Torrey Pines. Despite missing the cut, he followed that with a T4 at The AT&T in Pebble Beach finishing on 17 under for the tournament. He had another good week at The Northern Trust Open getting into a three way playoff, but was knocked out by the eventual winner, James Hahn. Johnson has a super record here at Doral with two top 5’s and a top 15 in his last four appearances. He finished T4 last year, T12 in 2013 and solo 2nd in 2011.
Johnson ranks first in driving distance averaging 313 yards off the tee. He ranks eighth in strokes gained tee to green, fifth in approaches from 200+ and third in approaches from 150-175. He also ranks 16th in par 3 scoring and 12th in par 5 birdie or better leaders. With such a good record on this course and two top 5’s in his last three starts, Johnson is hard to ignore here.
Patrick Reed 22/1
After a dramatic finish at The Honda Classic on Monday afternoon, Patrick Reed looked right in the thick of things up to the point when he hit his tee shot on 15 into the water, which took him right out of contention. Despite that small setback, Reed has been playing well since December where he finished T3 at The Hero World Challenge. He followed that with a win at The Hyundai Tournament of Champions, T24 at The Humana and a T29 at The AT&T in Pebble Beach. He finished T7 last week at The Honda, shooting a final round 73 to finish three under for the tournament.
Reed played superb last year and came away with a win after shooting a total of four under for the tournament. Statswise he seems to fit the bill here averaging 293 off the tee and ranks 20th in strokes gained tee to green, 24th in strokes gained putting and fourth in approaches from 250-275, which is a good stat for approaches into the par 5’s. Reed also ranks eighth in par 4 scoring and 29th in par 5 scoring. After a good performance last week, Reed comes to Doral in good form and could have another good week after playing so well here last year.
Jamie Donaldson 40/1
Donaldson has been playing well for the last couple of months and has only finished outside the top 25 twice in his last 10 events. He started 2015 off well with a T9 at The Abu Dhabi Championship finishing on 13 under, which included a third round 65. He followed that with T19 at The Farmers in Torrey Pines finishing on four under. Donaldson had a great week at The Honda shooting a final round 66 to finish solo 6th and played well here last year finishing T2, one stroke behind the winner Patrick Reed.
He is averaging 292 off the tee on The European Tour and ranks first in strokes gained putting so far this season. He ranks seventh in approaches from 175-200, fourth in approaches from 50-125 yards and 14th in par 5 scoring. After a top 10 last week at The Honda, Donaldson could have another great week here.
Luke Donald 50/1
After a disappointing start to the 2015 season, Luke Donald played well last week at The Honda finishing on three under and T7 for the tournament. He was showing some good form before Christmas playing well at The Nedbank Challenge in South Africa finishing solo 3rd on 12 under. He also had a good finish to the 2014 European Tour season finishing T26 at The DP World Championship in Dubai.
He has a good record at this event over the last few years with two top 10’s and a top 25 in his last four appearances. He finished T25 last year, T6 in 2012 and T6 again in 2011. After a good performance last week at The Honda, Donald could have another good week on a course he has played well on in the past.
Final selections –
Bubba Watson 2 pts EW
Dustin Johnson 1.5 pts EW
Patrick Reed 1.5 pts EW
Jamie Donaldson 1 pt EW
Luke Donald 1 pt EW
Total staked = 14 pts
Good Luck and enjoy the golf,
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