As the PGA Tour’s World Golf Championships event wraps up Sunday in Miami, it seems Doral’s newly redesigned Blue Monster Course needs a new nickname. Our suggestion:
Donald’s House of Horrors.
I mean, yes, Doral’s famed signature course had gone soft and needed toughening to challenge the world’s best players, but perhaps Donald Trump’s $200 million-plus redesign since buying the place has gone a smidge overboard, based on scores this week.
On Friday alone, in conditions windy enough to send Trump’s toupee spiraling skyward, more than 100 balls were hit in the water and no player broke 70. Only four of 69 players were under par — all of them a mere 1-under — entering the weekend.
Asked which holes are the most challenging, Tiger Woods deadpanned, “One through 18.”
The Blue Monster is brutally harder at every turn.
The greens are so large now I thought I saw players using drivers from the fringe.
You know how sometimes the ball gets lost in the rough? Now players are getting lost in there.
The bunkers are now massive, collapsing sinkholes.
The cart paths have high banks, chicanes and hairpin turns.
Even the fairways are unfair.
On Saturday, I saw flag sticks flying across the course like javelins as terrified fans dove for cover.
The trees were talking, like in The Wizard of Oz.
Without warning, the tee boxes now shift with remote-controlled tremors.
I saw players using calculators to add up their scorecards.
And I don’t wanna say the Blue Monster has appreciably more water on the course now, but, Saturday alone, several players had their swings interrupted by noise from waving tourists on passing cruise ships.• Alaska’s annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is under way. Finally, something Sarah Palin actually can see from her backyard!
• LeBron James planned to be in Cleveland on Saturday for the Cavaliers’ ceremony retiring the number of his friend and ex-teammate, Zydrunas Ilgauskas. And, other than James dominating all of the fan and media attention and relegating Big Z to an afterthought, I guess it seemed like a good idea.
• The Marlins complained that the Red Sox fielded a substandard team for Thursday’s spring game in Jupiter. Wait a second. Couldn’t Miami fans complain the Marlins do the same thing most years?
• New Marlins third-base coach Brett Butler is teaching bunting. The club wants to develop “small-ball” skills after getting the “small payroll” thing down pat.
• We’re seven days from the bracket draw for tennis in Key Biscayne. This is where we pretend somebody might upset Serena Williams even though we don’t mean it.
• The dysfunctional Knicks offered Phil Jackson a front-office job. The job would require that Jackson wear a suit. An asbestos suit.
• Michael Yormark stepped down as Panthers president to join Jay Z’s Roc Nation agency, saying, “I’ve done everything I can do here.” A TV special highlighting Yormark’s accomplishments with the hockey club airs Monday from 7 p.m. to 7:01.
• Javi Salas pitched only the second perfect game in UM baseball history Tuesday. “Yeah but we were perfect for a whole season,” crowed the ’72 Dolphins.
• Major League Soccer opened its season Saturday with replacement referees. My question: Why mention it? Like we’d have noticed the difference?
• Bacardi Miami Sailing Week ended. Nobody finished the race because everybody was too drunk on rum.
• Sports Illustrated’s latest cover is on a new book on Pete Rose. The book is written by a magazine staffer and is published by SI Books. Talk about a coincidence!
• What were the odds that the most-talked-about and notoriously prominent NFL offensive lineman of the past year would be named “Incognito”? (Or, as John Travolta pronounces it, “Nicocogni.”)
• MLB Network had a Twitter vote to name the “Face of MLB” and little-known A’s infielder Eric Sogard almost won. Sogard isn’t even the face of his own infield. He’s so unrecognized even his wife requires him to show I.D.
• Sentences I Never Imagined Writing (one in a series): “World soccer superstar Lionel Messi reportedly cannot control his vomiting.”
• University of Miami researchers have developed a vaccine that can prevent mice from being infected with HIV. The downside? An expected sharp rise in rampant promiscuity by partying rodents.
• Parting thought: Question: What if the University of Miami’s most prominent coach had invented spicy brown mustard? Answer: Al Gulden. (Sorry.)
Visit Greg’s Random Evidence of a Cluttered Blog daily at MiamiHerald.com and follow on Twitter @gregcote and also on Instagram, Vine and Facebook.