Get the best handicapping articles and gambling advice throughout the football, basketball and baseball seasons from the world's top sports handicappers, as well as from Bovada (Bodog) Sportsbook and Casino.
WGC Cadillac Preview
by Matt Fargo - 03/04/2014
Russell Henley took home the Honda Classic trophy last week as he survived a four-man playoff and actually won on the first playoff hole as his birdie was good enough for him to win his second PGA Tour title. The tour continues on the Florida swing, heading to Doral this week for the WGC-Cadillac Championship. This is the second event in three weeks that we have a World Golf Championship event, thus 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 on occasion, it does that to some but a lot of that is due to the intimidating finishing hole. This year, the whole course has a new look as Gil Hanse oversaw a complete redesign. Doral seemed to get progressively easier over the years and the easy greens were part of that but now, that has changed. Additionally, every hole has a new measurement and Hanse himself is calling Doral a new golf course.
This is the 10th 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 69 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 do. Weather should not be a factor this week with the exception of some possible wind and rain on Thursday but everything looks good for the last three days.
For those not qualifying at Doral, many will be teeing it up in Rio Grande at the Puerto Rico Open but for our segment this week, we will be sticking with the WGC event.
Rory McIlroy (+600) is the early favorite and a big one for that matter. His Sunday implosion was a surprise at PGA National as he shot a 74 but still had a chance with a look at eagle on 18 but missed and was part of the four-man playoff. How he recovers from that is impossible to gauge but at this price, we are staying off nonetheless. Because of the new look course, grabbing higher odds may be wise.
This is not great value with Dustin Johnson (+1,200) but he is close to winning again. He went down in the first round at the Accenture Match play but he has never done well there. Prior to that, he recorded three straight top sixes to open 2014 and he already has a WGC win this season, taking place at the HSBC Champions back in November. His last three finishes here are a T12, T35 and a solo second.
Graham DeLaet (+3,500) is still in search of his first PGA Tour victory and this would certainly be a great place to notch his first. His incredible 2013 season seems to be no fluke as he has come out this season playing well again. He has five top tens in seven stroke play events and while his last resulted in a T70 at the Northern Trust, I expect a bounce back this week. First timer here, but the updated design is new to everyone.
Jim Furyk (+5,000) is back at it following a week off after the Accenture Match Play. This is just his fourth stroke play event of the season and his third in 2014 but after an excellent showing two weeks ago, I don't think he can be counted out, especially at these odds. Going back, he has six top tens in his last 10 starts and while the course looks new, his win, two runner-ups and a third here cannot be overlooked.
We used Rickie Fowler (+6,000) last week and he put a solid tournament together with a T24 thanks to all four rounds of par or better. As mentioned last week, his swing changes are taking effect and for the good following the Honda Classic and the Accenture Match Play prior to that. His last two years at the Cadillac have been average but a solo eighth in 2011 shows he can play very well here.
Because of the strength of the field, there are some massive longshots this week including Matteo Manassero (+12,000). This is his first year on the PGA Tour but he is no stranger to this current stretch. He played the Accenture Match Play, the Honda Classic and the Cadillac Championship last year and was solid with respective finishes of T29 and T23 in the last two. He is coming off a T12 last week so his current form is solid.
Recommended Tournament Win Five Pack at the WGC-Cadillac Championship - All for 1 Unit
Dustin Johnson (+1,200)
Graham DeLaet (+3,500)
Jim Furyk (+5,000)
Rickie Fowler (+6,000)
Matteo Manassero (+12,000)
2014 Record to date after 8 events: +15 Units
Sony Open in Hawaii -5 Units
Humana Challenge -5 Units
Farmers Insurance Open -5 Units
Waste Management Phoenix Open -5 Units
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am +22 Units
Northern Trust Open -5 Units
WGC - Accenture Match Play +23 Units
Honda Classic -5 Units