Winners and Losers from the 2013 WGC-Cadillac Championship

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistMarch 11, 2013

Winners and Losers from the 2013 WGC-Cadillac Championship

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    It appears that Tiger Woods is on track for a memorable golf year.

    While the PGA Tour is still in the first quarter of the year, Woods already has two championships.

    He picked up his second victory of the year in dominating fashion, winning the WGC-Cadillac Championship in dominating fashion.

    Woods did not hit the ball for distance the way he has in the past (averaging 296.5 yards per drive, ranking 21st among all golfers), but he hit it accurately from tee to green. Once he got on the green, he was the tournament's best putter.

    The Cadillac Championship attracted the strongest field of the year and Woods got the best of rivals like Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker and Graeme McDowell.

    Here's a look at the winners and losers from the Cadillac Championship, played at the famed Blue Monster in Miami.

Tiger Woods, Winner

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    Tiger Woods bogeyed two of the last three holes, but he still won at Doral by two strokes over his good friend and putting coach Steve Stricker.

    Woods' second victory of the season was largely dictated by his outstanding work with the putter. Woods putted better than than any other golfer at Doral, averaging 1.52 putts per hole.

    Woods victory at Doral was his 17th WGC Championship; no other golfer has won more than two WGC titles.

    Woods shot a 19-under par 269 for the event. The victory was the 76th PGA Tour triumph of his career. He is second all-time in PGA Tour victories to Sam Snead, who had 82 titles during his legendary career.

    Woods won at Doral for the fourth time in his career.

    He appears to be in great shape to capture his first major championship since 2008.

Steve Stricker, Winner

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    Steve Stricker spent about 45 minutes working with Tiger Woods on his putting prior to the first round at Doral.

    Those 45 minutes may have been the key to Woods winning the title and Stricker coming in second place.

    While Stricker may wish he would have waited four days before giving Woods his putting critique, he played sensational golf through much of the tournament.

    Stricker fired a 17-under par 271 and was remarkably consistent. He was the only golfer in the field to break 70 in each of his four rounds.

    Stricker hit 68.06 percent of his greens in regulation, tying for 10th in the tournament. He also averaged 1.633 puts per hole, ranking fourth in the Cadillac Championship.

Phil Mickelson, Loser

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    Phil Mickelson had a solid tournament, but it wasn't up to his standards.

    Especially when Mickelson started the final round at 13-under par and thought he had an excellent chance to run down Tiger Woods and win the title.

    Mickelson was unable to take advantage of his excellent shotmaking, missing most of his key putts in the final round. He shot 71 and closed the tournament at 14-under par, leaving him in a tie for third place.

    Mickelson was three-under par through the first eight holes, but he missed a short par putt on the par-three ninth hole which seemed to halt his momentum. Mickelson would not make another birdie throughout the rest of the round.

Graeme McDowell, Loser

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    Graeme McDowell was paired with Tiger Woods for the final round of the Cadillac Championship.

    He seemed to have the confidence needed to stay with Woods and possibly pull out a come-from-behind victory.

    As the round started, McDowell birdied the first two holes and it looked like he was going to track down Woods.

    But as decisively as McDowell started the round, he could not build on his momentum. He shot two over for the rest of the round and finished with a disappointing 72 over his final 18 holes.

    McDowell shot a 14-under par 274 for the tournament and finished in a tie for third. He hit 72.22 percent of his greens in regulation, tying for fourth in that category with Jason Dufner.

Rory McIlroy, Winner

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    Rory McIlroy, the No. 1 golfer in the world, faced off with the best golfers on the PGA Tour. He finished at 10-under par and tied for eighth place.

    How does that make him a winner?

    McIlroy started the week by offering a heartfelt apology for pulling out of last week's Honda Classic. While McIlroy will need to show his regret by competing hard each week, he took the blame for his walkout and promised not to engage in that type of behavior again.

    McIlroy was quite ordinary through the first two-plus rounds this week. However, he found his game in the middle of the third round and was sensational in the final round—he shot a 65 and seemed to rediscover his swagger.

    Additionally, McIlroy averaged a tournament-best 312.2 yards per drive.

    He may be prepared to play his best golf at the Masters next month.

Adam Scott, Winner

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    Adam Scott was sensational in the final round of the Cadillac Championship.

    He started the round at six-under par and was not in contention for the title, despite shooting a 68 in the third round.

    However, Scott had a steely focus in the final round and shot a 64 in windy and tricky conditions. That was the best round of any golfer in the tournament.

    Scott averaged 309.9 yards per drive, finishing second to Rory McIlroy in driving distance.

Bubba Watson, Loser

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    The presence of Bubba Watson in the field made the Cadillac Championship one of the strongest tournaments of the year.

    Watson, the defending Masters champion, is one of the most colorful golfers on the tour. His ability to drive the ball as far as anyone gives him a chance to draw the biggest and most vocal followings in every tournament he enters.

    Watson started the tournament in fine shape with a 66 in the first round and his 69 in the second round left him in solid standing. However, he had no spark in the final two rounds. He shot a 71 in the third round before closing with a disastrous 75.

    Watson finished seven-under par for the tournament and tied for 18th. He hit just 63.89 percent of his greens in regulation, which helps explain his disappointing showing.

Dustin Johnson, Loser

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    Big things are expected from Dustin Johnson every time he tees off.

    Johnson has the power, accuracy and ball-striking ability to be one of the top golfers in the world on a consistent basis.

    Johnson started off as if he had a chance to contend in the Cadillac Championship, firing a 68 and a 69 in the first two rounds. However, he could not break 70 in either of the final two rounds and finished at nine-under par and tied for 12th.

    That's not awful, but Johnson did not play up to expectations. He hit only 48.21 percent of his greens in regulation and lacked consistency over the final two rounds.