DORAL, Fla. – While assessments varied, most players considered the redesigned Blue Monster a work in progress following four windy days at the WGC-Cadillac Championship.
“It's frustrating. I don't know if it's because you've got memories of the course before, like going low, and the way it is now, it just doesn't allow you to do that,” said Rory McIlroy, who failed to break 70 this week and tied for 25th place.
“I think it's really close to being great, but you still have to have those options when the conditions do get difficult, because that tends to happen quite often over the 20 years I've been coming here,” Phil Mickelson said. “It gets really blustery and can go 25 to 35 (mph) like it did the first two days, and you have to have a way to play the course.”
Donald Trump wanted a harder Doral and architect Gil Hanse, Mother Nature and a surprisingly demanding setup delivered. Thanks to gusting winds on Friday the scoring average for the week was 73.952, making the redesigned Blue Monster the most difficult on the PGA Tour this year and nearly 2 ½ strokes harder than it was last year.
And while that may not have sat too well with the rank and file, Trump couldn’t have been happier.
“Couldn’t do any better,” said Trump, who predicted 8 under par would be the winning score (Patrick Reed finished at 4 under). “It’s a tough course. It’s a big, bold course, but it was fair. We couldn’t ask for anything more. It was great.”