WGC Cadillac Championship
Defending Champ: Dustin Johnson
FNTSY Sports Network’s Pat Mayo and Cam Stewart debate their WGC-Cadillac Championship picks and the week in betting at this week’s PGA Tour stop at Trump National Doral. Plus, Geoff Fienberg calls in from his vacation to to give his top bets and WGC Cadillac Championship One and Done selection…
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WGC Cadillac Championship Field
67 Players | No Cut
Outside of the Majors, the WGC events have the strongest fields of the year. Doral is seeing 48 of the World’s Top 50 players descend on South Florida. It really speaks to the quality of this event, as most players know they’ll likely have to spend time with Donald Trump at some point, and they’ve still decided to come anyway. I’ll wager the $9.5M prize pool has something to do with it.
WGC Cadillac Championship Key Stats
Proximity > 200 Yards
Greens in Regulation
Par 5 Birdies or Better
WGC Cadillac Championship Course
Trump National Doral | Par: 72 | 7,543 Yards
For years, players would dominate Doral, treating the water logged layout like it was TPC Deere Run. That doesn’t happen anymore; not since the 2014 redesign. Gil Hanse was tasked with making Trump National Doral GREAT AGAIN, and he executed swimmingly. The last two season the Cadillac has been the third and seventh most difficult track, majors included, on the PGA TOUR. In fact, the field has yet to average a round under par in eight tries.
Both years the winning score has been in single digits, and only one specific type of player has shown the ability to go super low when the conditions align just right. Those who would also be something in one of those long-drive competitions. At 7,543 yards, distance off the tee is essential to winning. A glance at the 2015 leaderboard tells you exactly what you need to know: BOMBERS!!!! Not to say shorter hitters can’t compete, they most certainly can, but they’ll need to be near-perfect all four rounds with their long-irons. Over 50-percent of approach shots will come from over 175 yards. More than 30-percent will be from 200+ yards, including three of the four Par 3s. That’s no easy task for the shorter hitters, especially if the wind picks up.
Deep drivers, with inflated birdie or better percentages on Par 5s, that can consistently two-putt from from beyond 25-feet; that’s who you want to target this week.
WGC Cadillac Championship Picks
Justin Thomas – A quick glance at the loaded Yahoo! A-List will have most skimming past Thomas in a field this stacked. DON’T!!!!! In a no cut event, taking a chance on an upside player that will be owned by a minority of Fantasy players is key. JT is coming off a T3 at the Honda and has Top 30 grades in driving distance, birdie average, eagle average, approaches from beyond 200 yards, Par 5 birdies or better, and strokes gained: Tee-to-Green.
Dustin Johnson – Two starts since the 2014 redesign: 1st and T4. Johnson checks every box you want for this layout, he’s a must play. Expect DJ, Rickie Fowler, and Bubba Watson to be the most popular A-List selections this week.
Brooks Koepka – A Florida guy, Brooks will eventually avoid those pesky crooked numbers that destroy his round. When you’re exclusively targeting bombers it’s impossible to leave Koepka off your squad, so here he is. His 307.8 yards off the tee is good for 10th best on TOUR.
JB Holmes – Sitting lofty in distance numbers (3rd) and SG: T2G (11th), Holmes has reeled off four straight T11 finishes (or better) entering play. JB finished runner-up on this site last year too.
Henrik Stenson – The Cadillac marks Stenson’s first US appearance this year, hopefully, keeping him off the collective’s radar. The Swede hasn’t finished worse than T16 at this event the past two seasons, and enters hotter than usual for this time of year, with a T6 and T3 in loaded fields during the Middle East, Euro Tour swing already in 2016.
Justin Rose – With most Fantasy players likely gravitating towards Rory McIlroy, justifiably, I like Rose in his spot instead. We’re plenty familiar with Rose’s long-iron acumen, but it’s his new found power off the tee that puts him in play this week. The Brit is now averaging 304 yards (19th) with the big stick this season and has been lethal from the key approach range of 200-225 yards (4th).
Daniel Berger – Now’s the time to reinvest in Bergertime… I hope. His form is out of whack (MC, MC, 58, MC), which assures he won’t be on anyone else’s team, but he rates out really well for this course. Berger’s 15th in DD, 11th on approaches from 200+ yards, and sixth in 3-Putt avoidance.
Branden Grace – You can sell me on Charl Schwartzel, again, or even Bill Haas, but I’m going back to the Grace well. The South African has the distance and Tee-to-Green game to compete, but it’s his GIR, Par 5 scoring and play from beyond 200 yards that separates him from the rest of the top-end talent in the C-List.
The Pat Mayo Hour covers the entire scope of the Fantasy sports landscape from Football to Reality TV, daily and yearly leagues and everything in between. You can watch the Pat Mayo Hour every weekday at 3:00pm EST, 8:00pm EST and Midnight on the FNTSY Sports Network Television channel or on your Apple TV, Xbox, Roku or Amazon Fire Stick. If you have a Fantasy question, general inquiry or snarky comment, ship it to Mayo at PatMayoHour@gmail.com and the best will be addressed on the show.