Jason Sobel - March 9, 2012


Rory McIlroy shot a first round 73 at Doral and he was not surprised that Rory was feeling a bit flat after going to New York for a couple of days after becoming World #1. It is not exactly the end of the world for Rory and anticipates that this will be his highest round of the week.

Jason Dufner does not seem to give off any edge at all. He does not want to say that it looks like Dufner doesn’t care, but he does not seem very emotional out on the course. He just keeps on rolling and proved he can do that after losing the 2011 PGA Championship in a playoff to Keegan Bradley.

He was more surprised to see Tiger at 72 after the 1st round than Phil. Tiger has a great history at Doral and when you consider the final round 62 last week and the eagle on the 1st hole on Thursday, one would think that Tiger would have shot a better round than 72. But again, the course is playing hard and Tiger should have better scores this week.

Sergio Garcia put two in the water at 18 to end a horrible back nine and he actually enjoyed seeing the 18th hole play as difficult as it did. It will be very exciting to see a few players in contention on Sunday have to face the difficult 18th. He hopes that the wind keeps blowing this week.

Earning an invitation to The Masters is arguably the top prize in professional golf and considering that this is Selection Sunday for the NCAA Tournament, Sobel suggested that there be a way to select players using certain criteria including at-large picks to play in The Masters every year. It seems like a fun idea and if not The Masters, certainly you can do another event. Sobel has more on this idea in his upcoming Weekly 18 article on GolfChannel.com.
In his second visit to Friday’s edition of Morning Drive, Sobel began by saying that he has been all over the map with his predictions about Adam Scott because you never know which Adam is going to show up. We have seen him both struggle and succeed in Major Championships and other big events. He thinks that Adam seems to have found something with the belly putter and thinks that he could have a 2012 that is similar to 2011.

Juvic Pagunsun won the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2011 and is 172nd in the Official World Golf Ranking. He was the first player from the Philippines to win the Order of Merit on that tour and he lost the Barclays Singapore Open in a playoff in 2011. In doing a Google search, the first thing that you find out about him is his height and different sites say different things.

We should not be too bummed about Tiger Woods starting with a 72 and being 6 shots back. In 2012, we have seen larger comebacks over 18 holes so we can definitely see that kind of comeback over the last 54 holes. Tiger is a lot like a prize fighter and it seems like he starts a tournament by getting an idea of the course and the field and he strikes later in the tournament.

Jarrod Lyle’s illness really puts things into perspective. Just as he is about to welcome his first child into the world with his wife, he has found out that he has leukemia for the second time in his life. Social Media has been a way for a number of players to express their best wishes for Jarrod and he is as nice of a person as you will meet on the PGA TOUR. Lyle and his family are in everyone’s prayers right now and we all want to see Jarrod healthy again as soon as possible.