Five players to watch at WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral

Tiger Woods watches as Luke Guthrie hits on the first hole during the final round of the Honda Classic golf tournament on Sunday, March 2, 2014, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Tiger Woods watches as Luke Guthrie hits on the first hole during the final round of the Honda Classic golf tournament on Sunday, March 2, 2014, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee / AP

Facts and figures

Where: Trump National Doral Resort, 4400 NW 87th Ave., Doral.

Course: The Blue Monster (36-36—72, 7,481 yards). Redesigned by Gil Hanse since last year’s tournament.

Format: 72-hole stroke play with no cut.

The field: 69 players including the top 50 in the world.

Purse: $9 million ($1,530,000 goes to the winner).

FedEx points: 550 to the winner.

TV: Thursday-Friday, 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Golf Channel; Saturday, noon-2 p.m. Golf Channel (2p.m.-6p.m. NBC); Sunday: 1p.m.-3p.m. Golf Channel (3p.m.-7p.m. NBC).

Defending champion: Tiger Woods (66-65-67-71, 19-under-par269).

Parking: General parking is at JC Bermudez Park at 3000 NW 87th Ave, Doral. Preferred parking is at the same location, but a pass is required.

Tickets: Go to for information. Daily grounds passes start at $35 for Thursday or Friday and $40 for either weekend day. Patrons 18-years-old and younger are admitted free with a ticketed adult, and any fan with a valid college ID will gain free entry after 3 p.m.

Below are five players to watch as the WGC-Cadillac Championship begins Thursday at Trump International Doral:

•  Tiger Woods: A different course. Maybe a different Tiger Woods (without the questionable health of his back). Still, he’s the world No. 1, brought home the big check four times at Doral, so it’s a place where he feels good vibes. Then again, so was Torrey Pines (missed secondary cut).

•  Rory McIlroy: Either McIlroy gets buoyed by how he played the first 63 holes of the Honda Classic and jumps right into the mix here, or, he mentally stays on the PGA National Champions Course back nine through enough of this week that he fades into weekend irrelevancy.

•  Bubba Watson: If all the changes at Doral make this year a wild card, look for the tour’s wild card, Watson. Few can make the shots he can. Few so often put themselves in situations to need those shots. He has a first- and second-place finish this year.

•  Zach Johnson: The redesigned course allegedly demands more driving accuracy than in its recent past. Johnson leads the PGA Tour in driving accuracy and is third in greens in regulation. He rolled through January with a win and two other top-10 finishes.

•  Webb Simpson: Simpson has been playing well since the end of the 2013 season, with five top-10 finishes in his past seven events. He’s second on the PGA Tour in strokes gained putting. There’s really no reason to think he won’t be in contention here.

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