WGC-Cadillac Championship: Odds and Analysis for Top 10 Golfers at Doral

Fred Altvater@@tolohgolfrContributor IIMarch 5, 2013

WGC-Cadillac Championship: Odds and Analysis for Top 10 Golfers at Doral

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    Justin Rose pocketed $1.4 million by winning the 2012 WGC-Cadillac Championship at what is now called Trump Doral. The total purse has been increased to $8.75 million in 2013.

    Rose posted a final-round 70 to finish one shot better than Bubba Watson, who went on to win the Masters a few weeks later.

    Doral always draws the best players to the top of the leaderboard, and some of the biggest names have won here over the years. Billy Casper won the inaugural Doral Open at the famed Blue Monster in 1962. Over the years, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Tom Weiskopf, Raymond Floyd, Greg Norman, Nick Faldo, Ernie Els and Tiger Woods have won here.

    A WGC event has been played at Doral since 2007. Swirling winds, water hazards galore and tricky Bermuda grass greens make Doral a challenge for the best golfers in the world.

    Rose went on to have a monster year in 2012 and is playing well coming into this year's WGC-Cadillac.

    Only 70 players are invited to play in this event. All of the Top 50 have confirmed their intentions to play except for Brandt Snedeker, who is still at home nursing sore ribs after his win at Pebble Beach.

    What are the odds for the world's Top 10 players this week at Doral?


No. 10 Ian Poulter

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    Ian Poulter ignited the European Ryder Cup team comeback from six points down last fall at Medinah. He refused to lose on Saturday afternoon and completely changed the complexion of the entire Ryder Cup match.

    He is riding an extreme wave of confidence from that experience and has two top-10 finishes in just two starts on the PGA Tour thus far in 2013.

    Poulter made it to the semi-final round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play but lost to Hunter Mahan. He eventually finished fourth after losing the consolation match to Jason Day. 

    He is one of the hottest golfers on tour right now. It would not surprise anyone to see him at the top of the leaderboard on Sunday evening at Doral.

    The oddsmakers have Poulter listed at 33/1 to win. That might just be a pretty solid bet. 

No. 9 Lee Westwood

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    Lee Westwood is listed at 20/1 to win the WGC-Cadillac Championship this week.

    He has fallen to No. 9 in the world, but spent 22 weeks as the No. 1 ranked player on the Official World Golf Rankings in 2011. 

    He has won nearly everything and everywhere in the golf world except for a major championship.

    Westwood is 39 years old. His time is now to win and win big.

    He moved his family from England to southern Florida to be able to practice and have easier travel options to compete on the PGA Tour.

    His main goal is to win major championships, and his play thus far in 2013 demonstrates that Westwood is capable of getting it done. He has shown a much-improved short game, which is so important to score well on difficult courses at major venues.

    A win this week at Doral against an elite field would be a giant step in the right direction, especially with the Masters looming in just a few weeks. 

No. 8 Matt Kuchar

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    Matt Kuchar has been steadily moving up the Official World Golf Rankings. He is currently No. 8 after his big win at the WGC-Accenture in Arizona.

    He won the 2012 Players Championship, which may offer the toughest field of any other tournament in the world.

    He is always ranked near the top of the statistics in accuracy and scoring.

    He is a steady performer who is in contention week in and week out. He had nine top-10 finishes in 22 starts last year and already has two top-10 finishes this year.

    Doral demands accuracy off the tee and controlled iron shots into the greens.

    Kuchar has proven that he can contend in the big events against the best players. At 20/1, he is a safe bet this week in the WGC-Cadillac Championship. 

No. 7 Adam Scott

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    Where have you gone, Adam Scott? His last win on the PGA Tour was in August 2011 at the WGC-Bridgestone at Firestone Country Club.

    He has only played in two events in 2013. He was T-10 at the Northern Trust at Riviera and was defeated by Tim Clark in the first round at the WGC-Accenture Match Play.

    Scott has all of the tools to be a factor in every event in which he plays. His loss last year at the Open Championship to Ernie Els after he had a five-shot lead in the final round seems to have been a bitter defeat.

    He has the game. The question is whether or not he has the drive and the fire to win the big events. He is another player at the top of the list of best golfers who have not won a Major.

    He is a 20/1 shot to win at Doral, which could be a stepping stone for him for the balance of 2013.

No. 6 Justin Rose

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    Justin Rose is the defending champion at the WGC-Cadillac and is only listed at 16/1 to win. He beat Bubba Watson by one shot last year and went on to have an excellent 2012.

    He finished T-4 last week at the Honda Classic, and his game appears to be solid this year. He was T-8 in the 2012 Masters and T-3 at Kiawah in the PGA Championship.

    In October, he collected a cool $1.5 million for winning the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final when he beat Lee Westwood in the final match. The elite field of eight top professionals included Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods.

    Although the WGC events are comprised of the best players in the world, Rose, at 32 years of age, is looking to win that elusive first major title.

    He is currently No. 5 in the world, and another win at Doral would solidify him as one of the top players to beat heading into Augusta next month.

    A defending champion rarely wins on the PGA Tour (unless his name is Tiger Woods), but Rose might just pull it off this week.

No. 5 Louis Oosthuizen

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    Louis Oosthuizen's win at the 2010 Open Championship at St. Andrews is just about as good as it gets. He survived gale force winds and was able to control his golf ball, while others failed miserably over the hallowed grounds of the Old Course.

    Oosthuizen has one of the best swings in golf and an unflappable temperament to go along with his enormous talent.

    He is another of the great golfers to come out of South Africa and, except for Bubba Watson pulling off one of the greatest shots in history, probably would have won the 2012 Masters.

    He has six wins on the European Tour and seven Sunshine Tour wins. Although he has yet to win on U.S. soil, he has been a factor in several PGA Tour events.

    Even though Oosthuizen is ranked No. 6 in the world, he is only rated a 33/1 favorite to win this week.

    He has proven that he can play in wind and can control his golf ball under difficult conditions.

    Doral could be a perfect fit for him. 33/1 is very favorable odds for Oosty.

No. 4 Brandt Snedeker

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    Brandt Snedeker has moved to No. 4 in the world. 

    Since winning the 2012 FedEx Cup and the $10 million that goes along with it, he has been on fire. His run through the West Coast Swing was quite remarkable.

    He was runner-up to Tiger Woods at Torrey Pines. He followed that up with a second-place finish to Phil Mickelson at the Waste Management Phoenix Open the following week. He then won the AT&T National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach and moved to No. 1 in the FedEx Cup standings. In just five starts in 2013, he has four top-10 finishes.

    It is unfortunate that he suffered a rib injury and has been forced to take some time away from the game. 

    Snedeker is one of the best putters in the game and is always a factor to win at every tour stop.

    The odds are 100% that Snedeker will not win at Doral this week, but he will be a huge favorite at Augusta in a few weeks. 

No. 3 Luke Donald

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    Luke Donald had a career year in 2011, winning four titles around the world and capturing the money titles on both the PGA and European Tours.

    Still, he gets no respect from the oddsmakers. He is listed at 20/1 to win the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

    In 2012, he won the Transitions Championship in March and had eight top-10 finishes. His best finish in a major was a T-5 in the Open Championship. 

    He is another guy who needs to win a major to validate an outstanding golf career and maybe get some respect. 

    His short game always makes him a player to watch in big events. It seems there is no chip shot or putt that is too difficult for him to handle.

    Donald is easing into the 2013 season, and the WGC-Cadillac will only be his third start of the year. With 20/1 odds, he is a good bet.

No. 2 Tiger Woods

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    Tiger Woods is back at the top of leaderboards on the PGA Tour and is No 2 on the Official World Golf Rankings.

    He had three wins in 2012 and has already won the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines this year.

    Charles Howell III knocked him out in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play, but that is not an indication of poor play on Woods' part.

    He posted three solid even-par 70 rounds at the Honda Classic but struggled on Sunday with a final-round four-over-par 74, finishing T-37. 

    With Rory McIlroy struggling of late, Woods could get closer to the No. 1 spot on the Official World Golf Ranking.

    He has been sitting on 14 career major titles since his win at the 2008 U.S. Open. His game completely revolves around winning majors, but he would take a win at the WGC-Cadillac.

    He has won 16 WGC events in the past and won this event in 2007. 

    Woods seems to be comfortable on the golf course again and able to execute the shot that he visualizes. This is a bad sign for other golfers who need major wins.

    Tiger will be a factor in any big event and, at 10/1 odds, is the favorite to win this week.  

No. 1 Rory McIlroy

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    Rory McIlroy is ranked No. 1 in the world, but that doesn't mean he is the favorite to win this week.

    He is only ranked at 20/1 odds to win the WGC-Cadillac Championship, and that might be generous.

    McIlroy has struggled thus far in 2013. He missed the cut in Abu Dhabi, was knocked out in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play and walked off the golf course last week at the Honda Classic.

    The mega-deal that he signed with Nike in the offseason to use their equipment, play their ball and wear their wardrobe is not looking very profitable right now.

    McIlroy appears to have no confidence over shots at the moment and is very frustrated with his play.

    We have seen this type of lull before in McIlroy's game. Remember last summer, when he struggled but regained his form to win the PGA Championship, two FedEx Cup Playoff events and the money titles of the PGA and European Tours?

    McIlroy does not appear to be ready to win anytime soon, but he could find his swing and get right back to the winners circle.

    At 20/1 the bettors don't think that is realistic, however.