WGC-Cadillac Championship: Golf betting preview and picks
The PGA Tour continues on the Florida swing, heading to Doral for the WGC-Cadillac Championship. This is the second time in three weeks that bettors have a World Golf Championship event, giving them a star-studded field with close to the entire Top 50 in the world playing.
The Doral-Blue Monster Course is an interesting one. It has the reputation of causing havoc and a lot of that is due to the intimidating finishing hole. Last year, the 18th hole played as the most difficult finishing hole of all non-majors and two years ago was the second-hardest hole overall, averaging 4.31 for the week.
Overall though, the course can be tamed. Hitting fairways is difficult which makes it hard to hit greens but because of the size of the putting surfaces, scrambling is easy. This is the ninth year that the WGC event has been played here but Doral has been a host course since 1962, which is one of the longest runs on tour.
There are only 65 players in the field this week, which means there is no cut on the weekend and players are more likely to take chances they would not normally risk. Weather should not be a factor this week with the exception of some possible wind, which is par for the course at this time of the year.
Tiger Woods (+600) is the overwhelming favorite this week. He has won three times on this track but the last came in 2007 when he took a four-shot lead into Sunday and won by two shots. His recent play has been spotty. After winning the Farmers, he was ousted in the first round of the Accenture Match Play and then finished a disappointing 37th at PGA National last week. There’s no value with Woods this week.
Charl Schwartzel (+1,800) is one of five players sitting as the second favorite between 18-1 and 20- 1. He is coming off a Top-10 finish at the Honda and he has been playing so good that it was his lowest finish in his last eight medal play events. His track record here promises another great finish. He is coming off a T4 last year, a T24 in 2011 and a solo second in 2010.
Luke Donald (+2,000) is among the favored fivesome and his success at Doral should continue. He is one of the best scramblers on tour and, while he hasn't played enough to qualify this year, he finished fifth in scrambling a year ago. He was in contention at the Northern Trust Open until a Sunday 75 pushed him into a T16 finish. He backed up a T6 at Doral in 2011 with a T6 last year.
Nick Watney (+3,000) got off to a great start this year with a T13 at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and a T4 at the Farmers. While he has stumbled since then, this could be his return to the winners circle. He won this event in 2011 and followed that up with a T17 last year. His first ever start here as a WGC event was 2009 which resulted in a solo second, so he is undoubtedly comfortable at this track.
Geoff Ogilvy (+4,000) is a live underdog as the corner may have finally been turned. Thanks to his solo second last week, he moved from 79th to 47th in the OWGR to qualify this week after missing the Accenture. He has won three WGC events, the match play twice and this event back in 2008. He missed four straight cuts on the West Coast and his putting was to blame but is better now. He was sixth on tour in scrambling in 2012.
With a small field and everyone making the cut, we get good value at this end and that is the case with Martin Kaymer (+5,000). It wasn't that long ago that he was the top-ranked player in the world but with his short game faltering, he fell to 28th in the OWGR. He claims it is back and we saw glimpses of it at the Accenture and at the Honda early last week. He has finished in the Top 25 here the last three years including a T3 in 2010.
Recommended tournament win five pack at the WGC-Cadillac Championship - all for 1 unit
Charl Schwartzel (+1,800)
Luke Donald (+2,000)
Nick Watney (+3,000)
Geoff Ogilvy (+4,000)
Martin Kaymer (+5,000)
2012 Record to date after 36 events: +51.6 Units
2013 Record to date after 9 events: +18.16 Units
Hyundai Tournament of Champions -5 Units
Sony Open in Hawaii -5 Units
Humana Challenge - 5 Units
Farmer Insurance Open +3.5 Units
Waste Management Phoenix Open +19 Units
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am -5 Units
Northern Trust Open -5 Units
WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship +25.66 units
The Honda Classic -5 Units