Winners and Losers from the 2015 WGC-Cadillac Championship
Through three rounds at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, it looked like the tournament would be a J.B. Holmes romp.
Instead, Holmes faltered Sunday, opening the door for a hard-charging Dustin Johnson.
Who joins long hitters Johnson and Holmes as winners and losers, respectively, from Doral this week? Read on to find out.
Winner: Dustin Johnson
It's only been a month since Dustin Johnson returned from his leave of absence, and he's already found his way back to the winners' circle.
Johnson overpowered Doral with weekend rounds of 69 to edge out the faltering J.B. Holmes and Bubba Watson.
Per Steve DiMeglio of USA Today, the long hitter averaged 307 yards off the tee this week at a course that clearly favored those who can boom the ball
Asked about the win, new father DJ said, "It means everything. It's been a tough road, but a good one because of our son being born. And Paulina is doing great. It just feels awesome getting the W," per DiMeglio.
Loser: The Blue Monster's Reputation
Gil Hanse's Donald Trump-funded redesign of Doral wasn't met with glowing reviews from the pros this week.
Several players voiced their displeasure with the course and its conditions.
"The golf course, no, I can’t stand the golf course," Bubba Watson said, per David J. Neal of the Miami Herald. "The course is way too tough for me. Very, very difficult for my style of play. Donald Trump, he put together a tough one for me. Seemed like I was in sand all day, like I was back in Pensacola Beach."
J.B. Holmes, too, was less than thrilled, calling the course "stupid" and "unfair," per Jason Sobel of the Golf Channel.
Winner: Rory McIlroy's Resiliency
An opening-73 raised questions about the state of Rory McIlory's game, coming off a missed cut at last week's Honda Classic.
Further speculation that all is not right with the boy wonder crept in when he violently heaved his 3-iron into a water hazard following a hooked approach shot into the hazard at the par-five eighth hole Friday.
And a Saturday 72 didn't help.
The Ulsterman steadied himself Sunday though with an even-par 72 and a top-10 finish.
Still, he wasn't happy. As he said, "I am pretty disappointed with how I played overall. I felt it was a little better again today for the most part but a bit of a disappointing finish. But it's just not quite 100 percent," per Reuters (h/t New York Times).
Loser: Rory McIlroy's 3-Iron
After pull-hooking a shot into the water along the Blue Monster's eighth hole Friday, Rory McIlroy sent his 3-iron spiraling into that same body of water (see the horror above).
It was a cruel death by drowning for McIlroy's club. The lone bright spot in the tale, the club was retrieved by a diver Saturday, who passed it along to course owner Donald Trump.
Trump returned the club to its owner, saying “Rory, I didn’t want you to play with 13 clubs again. Thirteen is an unlucky number," per Steve DiMeglio of USA Today.
After his third round at Doral, Ian Poulter tweeted: "If you can't fly it 300 on this golf course it's a huge disadvantage. Top 10 on the leaderboard are the bombers. Need to get in the gym."
The re-tweaked Doral was a bombers' paradise this week. For evidence of that fact, look no further than the top three spots on the leaderboard. Those belong to the three longest hitters in the game over the past five years: Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson and J.B. Holmes.
This fact wasn't lost on Poulter, who tweeted Sunday: "The longest 3 in the field are position 1,2 and if you hadn't guessed 3rd. Hahahahahhahahahahahahahahhaahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahha."
Loser: The 4th Hole
In a remarkable sequence of events, J.B. Holmes and Dustin Johnson did something that hasn't been done in 25 years.
Yahoo Sports' Ryan Ballengee wrote, "Until Saturday, it had been 25 years since someone had made a hole-in-one during a PGA Tour event at the par-3 fourth at TPC Blue Monster at Doral. In a 20-minute stretch during Round 3 of the WGC-Cadillac Championship, there were two aces."
Check out Johnson's wonder shot above and Holmes' here.
Winner: Thursday J.B. Holmes
J.B. Holmes blistered the very difficult Trump National Doral with an opening-round 62.
En route to the course record, he made eight birdies and an eagle. The tally put him four strokes ahead of the field after the first round, and he was an incredible 11.4 strokes better than the field scoring average for the opening round.
Golfweek's Adam Schupak tweeted one pro's comments "Shane Lowry when told that JB Holmes shot 62. 'You're joking. Did he walk in after 15? He must've hit his drive at 9 and walked over water.'"
Loser: Sunday J.B. Holmes
The New York Post's Mark Cannizzaro wrote the following after J.B. Holmes held a five-shot lead entering the final round: "The only thing that might be able to stop J.B. Holmes from winning the WGC-Cadillac Championship is Donald Trump stepping and telling him: 'You’re fired!'"
While that didn't happen, Holmes was stopped from winning the tournament thanks to a combination of his own poor play and Dustin Johnson's final-round 69.
Holmes never really got on track Sunday, making three bogeys in his opening nine holes en route to a closing 75. He finished one stroke behind Johnson.