Blue Monster playing nice in Round 3

DORAL, Fla. – The Blue Monster, it’s not. At least not in today’s third round of the CA Championship as the field average is under par. And nowhere is that more evident than at the par-4 18th.

It is usually a brutal challenge to finish your round here at Doral, what with water all the way down the left, then in front of the green. Push it too far right and you have to deal with bunkers and trees. Up at the green, deep bunkers guard the right side.

Ah, but it’s remarkable how much easier it is when the wind is at your back like it is today.

Paul Casey is a sterling example of how different it is playing. Thursday and Friday, his second shots came from 169 and 165 yards, respectively. In Round 3, he drove it 338 yards and had just a lob wedge from 116.

More impressively, Alvaro Quiros bombed it 352 yards and had just 96 to the hole.

The shorter second shots translated into easier scoring chances. Whereas only 10 birdies were made over the first two rounds, today there have been 14 already, and the hole, which had played to a field average of 4.441 Thursday and Friday, is right now at 3.983.

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