PGA Tour
PGA, European - WGC-Cadillac Championship Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, March 8th through Sunday, March 11th
SITE: TPC Blue Monster at Doral, Doral, Florida
COURSE ARCHITECT: Dick Wilson and Robert Von Hagge (1962), Raymond Floyd and
         Ted McAnlis (1996), Jim McLean (2000), PGA Tour/Doral (2006)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,334
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 5 529 Yds10 - Par 5 551 Yds
2 - Par 4 418 Yds11 - Par 4 402 Yds
3 - Par 4 438 Yds12 - Par 5 603 Yds
4 - Par 3 236 Yds13 - Par 3 245 Yds
5 - Par 4 394 Yds14 - Par 4 460 Yds
6 - Par 4 442 Yds15 - Par 3 175 Yds
7 - Par 4 454 Yds16 - Par 4 372 Yds
8 - Par 5 560 Yds17 - Par 4 419 Yds
9 - Par 3 169 Yds18 - Par 4 467 Yds
--------------------------
36 3,640 Yds36 3,694 Yds
 
Annual:  13th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 1-6 p.m. (et),
  - Saturday -- 12-2 p.m. (et),
  NBC - Saturday -- 2-6 p.m. (et),
  Golf Channel - Sunday -- 1-3 p.m. (et),
  NBC - Sunday -- 3-7 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Nick Watney
Runner-Up:  Dustin Johnson
Tournament Record:  261 (Tiger Woods, 2006)
54-Hole Record:  194 (Tiger Woods, 2006)
36-Hole Record:  127 (Tiger Woods, 2006)
Course Record:  61 (Stephen Ames, 2000 - Doral-Ryder Open)
Total Purse:  $8,500,000
Shares:  1st Place - $1,400,000; 2nd Place - $850,000; 3rd Place - $520,000
 
2011 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Nick Watney272Luke Donald277
Dustin Johnson274Adam Scott277
Anders Hansen275Rickie Fowler278
Francesco Molinari275Hunter Mahan279
Matt Kuchar276Five players at280
 
Past WGC-Cadillac Championship Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2011Nick Watney (272) -- Dustin Johnson
(TPC Blue Monster at Doral, Doral, Florida)
2010Ernie Els (270) -- Charl Schwartzel
(TPC Blue Monster at Doral, Doral, Florida)
2009Phil Mickelson (269) -- Nick Watney
(TPC Blue Monster at Doral, Doral, Florida)
2008Geoff Ogilvy (271) -- Jim Furyk, Retief Goosen, Vijay Singh
(TPC Blue Monster at Doral, Doral, Florida)
2007Tiger Woods (278) -- Brett Wetterich
(TPC Blue Monster at Doral, Doral, Florida)
2006Tiger Woods (261) -- Ian Poulter, Adam Scott
(The Grove, Hertfordshire, England)
2005*Tiger Woods (270) -- John Daly
(Harding Park Golf Course, San Francisco, California)
2004Ernie Els (270) -- Thomas Bjorn
(Mount Juliet Conrad, Kilkenny, Ireland)
2003Tiger Woods (274) -- Stuart Appleby, Tim Herron, Vijay Singh
(Capital City Club, Woodstock, Georgia)
2002Tiger Woods (263) -- Retief Goosen
(Mount Juliet Estate, Kilkenny, Ireland)
2001Not held due to the tragedies of September 11
2000Mike Weir (277) -- Lee Westwood
(Valderrama Golf Club, Sotogrande, Spain)
1999*Tiger Woods (278) -- Miguel Angel Jimenez
(Valderrama Golf Club, Sotogrande, Spain)

* - Won in Playoff

Note:Formerly called WGC-American Express Championship (1999-2006);
WGC-CA Championship (2007-10).

Top Contenders in the Field
Player2002200320042005200620072008200920102011
Nick Watney---------------------2ndT-26Won
Dustin Johnson---------------------T-35T-562nd
Francesco Molinari------------------------T-14T-3
Anders HansenT-57---------------T-12---T-45T-3
Matt Kuchar------------------------T-35th
Luke Donald------T-11T-11T-6T-26T-20T-20T-26T-6
Adam ScottT-39T-40T-36T-29T-2T-61T-9T-66T-50T-6
Rickie Fowler---------------------------8th
Hunter Mahan------------------T-44T-53T-309th
Rory McIlroy---------------------T-20T-65T-10
Tiger WoodsWonWon9thWonWonWon5thT-9---T-10
Paul Casey---T-8T-21---T-56T-9T-51T-31T-6T-18
Steve Stricker---------------T-35T-6T-13T-16T-18
Lee Westwood---T-35T-13T-51T-32---T-34T-61T-30T-18
Vijay Singh3rdT-2---T-6T-56T-11T-2T-53T-11T-22
Charl Schwartzel---------T-18T-41T-35------2ndT-24
Martin Kaymer------------------T-57T-35T-3T-24
Zach Johnson------10thT-43T-45T-9T-9T-53T-37T-24
Bill Haas------------------------T-6T-31
Retief Goosen2ndT-8T-6---T-45T-58T-2T-66T-56T-31
Robert Karlsson------------21stT-11T-30T-3162ndT-31
Y.E. Yang---------------T-65---74thT-30T-39
K.J. Choi---T-6T-57T-43T-32T-19T-12T-59---T-39
Graeme McDowell------T-43T-6------T-48T-66T-6T-42
Ian Poulter---T-44---T-18T-2T-16T-57T-13T-37T-45
Jason Day---------------------------T-45
Geoff Ogilvy---------------T-3WonT-40T-45T-49
Phil MickelsonT-23T-38---T-29---T-23T-20WonT-14T-55
Alvaro Quiros---------------------T-13T-6T-64
Sergio Garcia7thT-12T-4T-3T-32T-3T-15T-31T-37---
Bubba Watson---------------------72nd------
Brandt Snedeker------------------T-48---------
Keegan Bradley------------------------------
Webb Simpson------------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Phil Mickelson
Darkhorse - Brandt Snedeker
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Lee Westwood) - Finished 4th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Jimmy Walker) - Finished tied for 67th
 
NOTES:
A stellar field is on hand this week for the second installment of the World Golf Championships events, the Cadillac Championship. The top-52 players in the world are competing for the $1.4 million first prize.

Rory McIlroy will be playing in his first tournament as the No. 1 player in the world. McIlroy won The Honda Classic last week to supplant Luke Donald at the top of the rankings, holding off a final round charge by former No. 1 Tiger Woods. McIlroy has finished in the top five in nine of his last 10 events, winning twice. His only finish outside of the top five was a tie for 11th at the Dubai World Championship in December.

This event features players in the top-50 from the Official World Golf Rankings, any remaining top-30 players from the 2011 FedExCup Points List, any remaining top-20 players from the 2011 European Tour Order of Merit, and any remaining top-two players from the 2011 Australasian Tour Order of Merit, Sunshine Tour Order of Merit, Asian Tour Order of Merit and Japan Golf Tour Order of Merit not already in the field. This event also features the top-10 players on the current PGA Tour FedExCup Points List and European Tour Race to Dubai standings.

This is the sixth straight year that the event will be held at the TPC Blue Monster at Doral. In 2006, the event was held at The Grove in Hertfordshire, England. In 2005, the event was held at Harding Park Golf Course in San Francisco. The Jack Nicklaus-designed Mount Juliet Estate in Ireland hosted two times (2002, 2004). The first two years of the tournament were held in Spain at Valderrama, while the 2003 event was staged at Capital City Club's Crabapple Course in Woodstock, Georgia. The 2001 tournament was to be played at storied Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri, but was canceled due to the tragedies of 9/11.

The TPC Blue Monster at Doral, which has played host to PGA Tour tournaments since 1962, became part of the TPC Network in November 2009. The course's 18th hole is traditionally one of the most-difficult finishing holes in golf.

Cadillac became the new title sponsor in 2011. The tournament was previously known as the American Express Championship and CA Championship. The Doral tournament transitioned into a World Golf Championships event for 2007.

The four-day, 72-hole event features no cut with a projected field of 69. Last year, 74 players competed in the tournament. The WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, the first in the series, was held at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club at Dove Mountain in Arizona. Hunter Mahan captured that title, defeating McIlroy in the championship match. The third World Golf Championships event of 2012, the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, will be held August 2-5 at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, where Adam Scott won in 2011.

Last year, Nick Watney fired a five-under 67 in the final round to come from behind and win by two shots over Dustin Johnson. Watney finished at 16-under-par 272 and won for the third time on the PGA Tour.

In 2009, Phil Mickelson overcame dehydration and exhaustion in the final round to earn his first World Golf Championships title. Mickelson edged out his fellow overnight co-leader Watney thanks to a three-under 69. It was enough for Mickelson to get the victory at 19-under 269 and defeat Watney by a single stroke. The win was well-earned by Mickelson, who was treated with IVs in a medical facility Saturday night. Mickelson held at least a share of the lead after every round. He carded rounds of 65-66-69-69. Mickelson matched the best putting performance of his career with 99 putts over four rounds. He also had 99 putts at the 1998 MCI Classic at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Tiger Woods won this title for the sixth time in 2007. Only Sam Snead and Woods have won more times at a single event. Snead won in Greensboro, North Carolina eight times, while Woods has won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational seven times. Woods has also won the Buick Invitational six times.

In 2006, Woods cruised to an eight-stroke win. Woods opened with a course- record 63 at The Grove in England and finished with rounds of 64-67-67 to win in wire-to-wire fashion. He set a new tournament record of 261, breaking his own mark of 263 set in 2002. He also established new 36-hole and 54-hole records, once again breaking his own marks from 2002. Woods has captured 16 World Golf Championship events and his total earnings for these tournaments are over $22 million.

The PGA Tour remains in Florida next week, moving to the west coast side of the state for the Transitions Championship in Palm Harbor, where Gary Woodland captured his first PGA Tour event last year. The European Tour travels to Spain for the Open de Andalucia Costa del Sol, where Paul Lawrie won the 2011 title.

03/06 13:52:58 ET

As of March 6, 2012, at 01:53 PM ET