From that exciting Monday finish at the Honda, the Tour moves south to Miami to take on the Blue Monster a.k.a The Donald’s Boardroom (or at least one of his boardrooms because he apparently put his name on 17 different courses. Good grief).
About the Sponsor
First, if you’re so inclined, check out this clip from Billy Joel song around!
Makes good background music for about one chorus, and then gets kind of annoying. Now you might be wondering why I told you to listen to this song. If you read the title of this article and aren’t too dumb in general, you’d know that it’s because Cadillac-ac-ac-ac is the title sponsor! You ought to know that by now. (Don’t feel bad if you stop reading after that joke, it was pretty terrible but I had to do it). Anyway, Cadillac is a part of GM which means that it’s struggling. It doesn’t help that it considers itself a luxury car even though I can’t believe anyone younger than 30 thinks of it that way.
Instead of focusing on the car, I’m going to spend a little time talking about Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founder of Detroit, former governor of Louisiana (the territory, not necessarily the state), and who the Cadillac brand is named after.
Apparently even though he was quite powerful and famous back in the day (just steal from Wikipedia), Monsieur Cadillac “deserves to be ranked with the worst scoundrels ever to set foot in New France” for his various dealings in trafficking in alcohol and furs. This just goes to show that if you do bad things when you have power, people will forget them and name a car brand after you. I for one am looking forward to the Underwood car brand in 50 years.
Also, since Cadillac (the car, not the dead French dude) is sponsoring the WGC Match Play in a month or so, get ready for part 2 on Cadillac (the dead French Dude, not the car) then.
About the tournament
The World Golf Championship events are a series of 4 that run throughout the PGA Tour season. In general, there are some differences between WGC events and “normal” PGA Tour events. The first big difference with the Cadillac Championship its limited field. Instead of the normal 156 players, The Cadillac Championship has a field of about 70 players, which varies from year to year depending on how many players qualify multiple ways. Thanks to Wikipedia (as most of the information I get here comes from). Top 50 players from the Official World Golf Rankings, top 30 PGA Tour FedEx Cup, top 20 European Tour, top 2 each from Asian Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA Tour of Australasia (never heard of this one before), and Sunshine Tour (South Africa).
The smaller field means that there’s no cut! Don’t know how the Donald feels about not being able to fire anyone from the tournament. Can’t sit too well with him. Besides guaranteeing four rounds for every player, this also guarantees that everybody gets a payday. Last year, our friend Kiradech Aphibarnrat from Thailand shot 74-82-79-79 en route to a last place finish and a nice $45,000 for his efforts. Unfortunately for us (and himself), Mr. Aphibarnrat didn’t qualify this year.
Patrick Reed hung on at the end and became a top 5 player in the world! At least according to him. Check out this janky video of his interview since I couldn’t find a better one. Start watching around the 50 second mark, unless you want to hear all about his accomplishments that make him a top 5 player (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4zqYco55uE). Really though, I’m a big fan of his confidence. Makes it fun to watch (and makes him a pretty good pick for DFS whenever he tees it up).
About the Course
The Cadillac Championship is held at the Blue Monster at Trump National Doral in Miami, one of the five courses on site. As far as golf courses go, the Blue Monster is decently forgettable. Not a fault of its own, but the fact that Florida courses are all flat. As is the case with most courses, 18th holes are usually the most important. Add some water, and you’ve got a stage for dramatic finishes. One of the more famous endings at Doral was when Craig Parry won in 2004 in a playoff by holing out from the fairway.
As expected with it being a WGC event, they set up the course hard. As mentioned above, only three players finished the tournament under par. Even if they wanted to make is a little easier, I’m pretty sure Trump would come in and fire anyone with that opinion. Actually, I’m pretty surprised that anyone finished under par with Trump in charge.
What to watch for
How many times they talk about Patrick Reed being a top 5 player in the world — Assuming that he’s in the hunt (which I’d put at a good chance seeing as how he finished well last week and won the tournament last year), I’d assume that the TV guys will at least mention it. I’m hoping that they frame it in a good way though, and not joking / mocking his confidence. TV likes to make people villains and this is a prime opportunity for them to do that. I have faith in NBC that they won’t do that, but no doubt they’ll talk about that interview.
Foreigners — WGC events are fun because viewers are exposed to players who play on other tours. Though they have a history of not doing so well, it’s fun to imagine their mindset about getting to play with the rest of the top golfers in the world. One of note is David Lipsky, a graduate of Northwestern who decided to play in Asia instead of going the “normal” route that most grads try of Web.com -> PGA Tour. Looks like it’s paid off since he’s teeing it up this week with the best from all over.