DORAL, Fla. – On Saturday’s “Morning Drive,” Doral owner Donald Trump said he wasn’t pleased with how the Blue Monster played on Thursday and suggested he influenced the PGA Tour to make the course play harder on Day 2.
“The first day I had none [influence on course set up]. I disagreed and I said to them that I disagreed that it was set up easy,” Trump said.
“The second day I protested. I said, look, we built this as a world championship course and I don’t think the tees should be far forward. They don’t have to be all the way back, but they shouldn’t be forward. I think I probably had a psychological impact, I don’t know.”
On Sunday at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, Tour commissioner Tim Finchem was asked how much impact a course owner has on golf course set up?
“If the tournament is hosted by a great player of the past, or the tournament is hosted by the owner of the property, and a well-known real estate developer, they are fully open to give their opinion about the setup of the golf course,” Finchem said.
“Our people do that work, however. They make the decisions . . . The philosophy that's applied to setting up the golf course is our philosophy, and it's executed by our staff, and within the context of their judgment.”
Although the scoring average on Friday (73.466) was slightly higher than Thursday’s average (73.4), the bigger concern was J.B. Holmes’ course-record tying 62 on Day 1, a round that was 11.4 strokes higher than the field average for the day.