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WGC-CA Championship Preview

Michael FitzpatrickFeatured ColumnistMarch 10, 2010

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 27: Anthony Kim hits his tee shot on the ninth hole during the third round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on February 27, 2010 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Contenders: Paul Casey & Nick Watney

Paul Casey: With six Top-11 finishes in his last seven events, few players on tour have been more consistent over the past two months than Paul Casey.

Casey lost in the finals of the World Match-Play Championship three weeks ago, and tied for fourth at last week’s Honda Classic where he also tied the course record with a 64 in round two.

Although still fine tuning his game after missing a large portion of last season due to a rib injury, Casey is inching closer to his top form.  He may not be quite ready to win this week, but it would be surprising if he doesn’t notch yet another Top-10 finish.

Nick Watney: With two Top-10 finishes in his first six events, Watney is off to a solid, but not exceptional start to the 2010 season.

The Blue Monster course at Doral is a bomber’s paradise, which sets up perfectly for Watney who finished second behind Phil Michelson at the 2009 WGC-CA Championship.

Over the past two years, Watney has shown occasional signs that he is on the brink of reaching that upper echelon of the PGA Tour.  A win this week would certainly catapult him up the FedEx Cup point standings as well as the World Golf rankings.

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Long shot: Soren Hanson

Just in case you haven’t turned on a golf tournament over the past two years, here’s a news flash for you—the Europeans are rising and rising rapidly up the World Golf rankings.

Ian Poulter cruised to victory at the first World Golf Championship of the 2010 season, and it would come as no surprise if another European walked off with a WGC title this week.

Soren Hanson, of Denmark, may be unknown to all but avid golf fans, but this guy can flat out play.

With four Top-10 finishes in his last seven events, Hanson is now ranked 45h in the world and could be a solid addition to Colin Montgomerie’s 2010 European Ryder Cup team.

Hanson averages 295.2 yards off the tee this year, so he should feel right at home on the Blue Monster course.

He may be a long shot to win this week, but don’t be surprised if we get to know Hanson a lot better over the coming days, weeks and months.

Winner: Anthony Kim

Anthony Kim has been one or two mistakes away from winning his last two events.

Kim was in contention after two rounds at the Waste Management Phoenix Open before finding the water twice on the 15th hole during his third round and dropping back to an eventual 24th place finish.

Kim managed to finish second at last week’s Honda Classic despite closing the third round with three consecutive bogeys.

All though we’ve heard it before from more than a few players, Kim has said numerous times that he is “close” to putting it all together.

If Kim can avoid those few mistakes that have cost the last two events, he could walk away with his third PGA Tour win this week at Doral.

Back-to-back wins by Kim and Camilo Villegas with Tiger Woods’ return likely coming within a matter of weeks?

Things may be about to heat up on the PGA Tour.

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