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, hes the world No. 1, brought home the big check four times at Doral, so its 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 tours 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. Hes second on the PGA Tour in strokes gained putting. Theres really no reason to think he wont be in contention here.