Blue Monster Course, Doral Resort, Florida Par 72, 7,543 yards
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 onto it. The par 5 first measures a lengthy 605 yards, 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.
Dustin Johnson won here last year on nine under and Patrick Reed won this event in 2014 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 and GIR will be important here. The usual mix of good current form and good previous form on this course will also be worth checking out especially over the last two years since the course changes took place.
Bubba Watson 11/1
Bubba comes into this week in good form and played superbly well recently in Riviera shooting a 68 in the final round to win by one stroke over Jason Kokrak and Adam Scott. He has two wins and two top 15’s in his last four starts. He won The Hero World Challenge back in December and followed that with a T10 at The Hyundai Tournament of Champions and a T14 at The Phoenix Open.
He has a great record here at Doral finishing T3 last year, T2 in 2014, T18 in 2013 and T2 in 2012. Bubba also ticks a lot of boxes statistically here ranking sixth in driving distance, sixth in GIR and fourth in SGTTG. He also ranks 28th in par 4 scoring and 19th in par 5 scoring and should feel at home on this course where he has played well on in the past and seems to suit his game.
Dustin Johnson 12/1
I thought DJ looked more confident at Riviera and played well all week finishing solo fourth and showed a lot of consistency shooting 68,66,68,69 to finish 13 under in total. His form has been good finishing T5 at The WGC HSBC Champions, 15th at The Hero World Challenge, T10 at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and T18 at The Farmers in Torrey Pines which would have been a lot better if it weren’t for a final round 80 in near unplayable conditions.
Johnson is another player with a great record in Doral with a win last year, T4 in 2014, T12 in 2013 and T2 in 2011. He also ticks a lot of boxes here ranking seventh in driving distance, ninth in SGTTG, 28th in par 4 scoring and 13th in par 5 scoring. After playing well over the last few weeks DJ should be a huge contender here.
J.B. Holmes 30/1
Regular readers of this blog will know I have tipped J.B a lot over the last few weeks and ive decided to give him another go this week. Despite not winning me anything over the last few weeks, he has been playing decent with six top 12’s in his last seven events. He started the season well with a T8 at the Hero World Challenge and followed that with a T12 at The Franklin Templeton Shootout, T6 at The Farmers, T6 in Phoenix, T11 in Pebble and T11 at The Northern Trust Open.
J.B finished T2 here last year shooting an impressive 62 in round one and is another bomber off the tee which should suit this course. He ranks third in driving distance, sixth in SGTTG and 20th in par 4 scoring. With some quality performances over the last few weeks and a good week here in Doral last year, J.B looks a solid bet here this week.
Henrik Stenson 28/1
The Swede has bounced back well after an injury and has been playing well over the last couple of months. He played well at the WGC HSBC Champions finishing T11 and followed that with a T3 at The BMW Masters. He also had a good week at The Nedbank before Christmas finishing solo second and started the New Year with a T3 in Abu Dhabi and a T6 in Dubai.
Stenson is another player with a good record here finishing T4 here last year and T16 in 2013. He also fits the bill here ranking 11th in GIR, second in strokes gained putting and 18th in driving accuracy. Stenson is another big hitter and should go well here especially after playing so well in the desert swing.
First Round Leader –
Dustin Johnson 18/1
With such a good record at this venue, Dustin Johnson has gone low here in round one over the last few years and hasn’t shot worse than a 69 in four of his last five opening rounds in Doral. He started with a 69 in 2011, 68 in 2013, 69 in 2014 and a 68 last year.
In his last six opening rounds he has only shot over 70 once, which was at The Hyundai Tournament of Champions where he opened with a 73 and bounced back with a 67,68,69 to finish -14. Most recently he opened with a 70 in Torrey Pines in The Farmers Insurance Open, 70 in Pebble Beach and an impressive 68 in Riviera at The Northern Trust Open. After a solo fourth in Riviera and four rounds in the 60’s, I fancy DJ to start strongly and open with a low one here.
Final Selections –
Bubba Watson 11/1 2pts EW
Dustin Johnson 12/1 2pts EW
J.B. Holmes 30/1 1pt EW
Henrik Stenson 28/1 1pt EW
Dustin Johsnon 18/1 1pt EW First Round Leader
Total Staked = 14 pts
Good luck and enjoy the golf,
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