Expert Picks: WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral

Jason Day is frequently mentioned among top picks for the 2014 WGC-Cadillac Championship on PGA Tour (shown here during his win at the 2014 WGC-Accenture Match Play).

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11:41:28 AM ET. 10/22/2014




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Jason Day pops up among the lists of players to watch this week from three of our staff experts, while Sergio Garcia and Webb Simpson are on a couple as well for the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral.

Even Tiger Woods gets a tip of the cap, despite not knowing if he will play due to back spasms.

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Extensive course renovations by Gil Hanse have created something of a lottery here – who will succeed on their first 72-hole tour in competition on the refreshed layout?

See how everyone fits in – take a look at this week's picks below:

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Jeff Rude, senior writer

Favorite: Rory McIlroy

Keep an eye on: Jason Day

Don't forget about: Adam Scott

Sleeper: Nick Watney

Comments: McIlroy is a regular contender again, in strong form but trouble finishing lately – like Sunday at Honda Classic, when he lost a two-stroke lead and playoff. . . . Scott should be ready to fire after getting rust off last week at Honda, where he finished four shots out of the playoff. . . . Day is flying high; tying for second at Farmers Insurance Open and winning WGC-Accenture Match Play. . . . Yes, Doral's Blue Monster is a new course, but Watney won at Doral in 2011 and was second there in 2009. Plus, he closed with 67 at Honda, where he finished five back.

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Jim McCabe, senior writer

Favorite: Sergio Garcia

Keep an eye on: Jason Day

Don't forget about: Webb Simpson

Sleeper: Roberto Castro

Comments: Curious tournament, given that it's a familiar venue with a totally new golf course, so it's almost back to square one for everyone. We'll give the nod to Garcia, who has played well here in the past and is one of the few players who has played the Gil Hanse re-design. . . . Webb Simpson and Jason Day are both in decent form. . . . Roberto Castro is a new name who deserves some attention.

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Adam Schupak, senior writer

Winner: Rory McIlroy

Keep an eye on: Patrick Reed, Billy Horschel

Don't forget about: Phil Mickelson, Graham DeLaet

Sleepers: Stephen Gallacher, Matteo Manassero

Comments: Rory didn't close the deal last week at Honda, but he convinced me that he's "back." His latest putting lesson from Dave Stockton paid quick dividends and I expect him to get over the hump soon. Why not this week, where he has top-10 finishes the last three years? . . . Mickelson is coming off an MC, but he struck the ball well. Bet he putts better and gets in contention. . . . DeLaet, Reed and Horschel all are birdie machines and the winning score at Doral has been between 16-19 under since 2008. . . . If you're in a one-and-done league, it's a good move to take a European Tour pro that doesn't play the PGA Tour a lot. Gallacher outplayed Rory and Tiger at Dubai; Manassero shot 67, the low-round on Sunday at Honda and, with his talent, is due for a breakout performance in the U.S..

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Nick Masuda, digital director

Winner: Keegan Bradley

Keep an eye on: Webb Simpson

Don't forget about: Jason Day

Sleeper: Peter Uihlein

Comments: Yes, despite the back spasms, I was tempted to pick Tiger Woods this week. But, considering he's had no practice at the new Doral, I find it hard to believe he'd win blind. . . . So that led me to Bradley, who has shown signs that he is inching toward victory in 2014. . . . Day is an obvious pick because of how well he played at Match Play, and honestly you really can't go wrong with a Jason Day pick. . . . Webb Simpson has quietly enjoyed a very good campaign in 2014 and is blistering the ball off the tee, which could prove handy at the Blue Monster this week. . . . The last pick is a gut pick, as Peter Uihlein is a South Florida guy and one that is ready for a breakout moment in the U.S. after a handful of wins in Europe.

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Lance Ringler, senior writer

Favorite: Tiger Woods

Don’t forget about: Jordan Spieth

Keep an eye on: Sergio Garcia

Sleeper: Steve Stricker

Comments: It's a WGC event and Tiger Woods is in the field. Despite a WD on Sunday at the Honda Classic, he has to be the favorite. . . . Sergio Garcia, who finished third last year at Doral, rallied this past weekend at The Honda Classic to post another top 10 finish - his eight top 10 in last 11 starts. . . . Jordan Spieth is the ultimate 'don't forget about me" guy as he continues to play well each week on the PGA Tour. . . . Steve Stricker was a runner-up here last year, but his lack of play would certainly qualify him as a sleeper pick this week; considering what he accomplished last year, it seems possible again.

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The WGC-Cadillac Championship field, according to the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings

  • 1. Tiger Woods
  • 2. Adam Scott
  • 3. Steve Stricker
  • 4. Sergio Garcia
  • 5. Jason Day
  • 6. Matt Kuchar
  • 7. Justin Rose
  • 8. Bubba Watson
  • 9. Webb Simpson
  • 10. Zach Johnson
  • 11. Henrik Stenson
  • 12. Hideki Matsuyama
  • 13. Jim Furyk
  • 14. Harris English
  • 15. Charl Schwartzel
  • 16. Dustin Johnson
  • 17. Rory McIlroy
  • 18. Jordan Spieth
  • 19. Phil Mickelson
  • 20. Graham DeLaet
  • 21. Jason Dufner
  • 22. Lee Westwood
  • 23. Keegan Bradley
  • 24. Hunter Mahan
  • 26. Bill Haas
  • 29. Chris Kirk
  • 31. Gary Woodland
  • 32. Jimmy Walker
  • 34. Victor Dubuisson
  • 35. Ian Poulter
  • 36. Thomas Bjorn
  • 37. Martin Kaymer
  • 38. Brendon de Jonge
  • 39. Boo Weekley
  • 40. Luke Donald
  • 41. Joost Luiten
  • 43. Rickie Fowler
  • 46. Billy Horschel
  • 48. Ryan Moore
  • 50. Graeme McDowell
  • 53. Nick Watney
  • 58. Jamie Donaldson
  • 61. Kevin Streelman
  • 62. Ernie Els
  • 74. Thongchai Jaidee
  • 75. Kevin Stadler
  • 77. Brandt Snedeker
  • 79. Francesco Molinari
  • 80. Roberto Castro
  • 89. Jonas Blixt
  • 90. Stephen Gallacher
  • 97. Patrick Reed
  • 99. Matteo Manassero
  • 102. Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
  • 104. Louis Oosthuizen
  • 105. Miguel A. Jimenez
  • 115. Hyung-Sung Kim
  • 119. George Coetzee
  • 136. D.A. Points
  • 137. Richard Sterne
  • 144. Peter Uihlein
  • 146. Russell Henley
  • 166. Kiradech Aphibarnrat
  • 172. Branden Grace
  • 230. Brett Rumford
  • 241. Darren Fichardt
  • 244. Scott Hend
  • 530. Dawie van der Walt
  • 550. Jin Jeong
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