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Rex Hoggard - March 6, 2012

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GolfChannel.com Senior Writer Rex Hoggard is at Doral this week for the WGC-Cadillac Championship. It has been pretty quiet at Doral so far this week but everyone is still talking about the final round of The Honda Classic. A number of players watched it on television which is rare when they are not playing in the tournament.

A lot of players are very happy to see Rory McIlroy rise to World #1 and play well and his friend Graeme McDowell seemed so happy for Rory on Sunday that one may have thought that Graeme won The Honda Classic. Many players have been predicting this ascension by Rory for a few years now.

Luke Donald has now slipped out of the World #1 spot so as a result he comes to Doral with a little less pressure. In the Official World Golf Ranking, it seems as though it is a three-man race for World #1 among McIlroy, Donald, and Westwood and with a lot of world ranking points available this week, a lot of things could happen.

He was at Doral in 2005 when Tiger and Phil played together in the final round and it had the electric feel of a Major Championship. When it comes to who is Tiger’s biggest rival, McIlroy does not have the experience of playing against Tiger at his very best the way Phil has but McIlroy is only 22 and will be around for a long time just as Tiger will be around for a long time.

His Masters favorite right now is Rory McIlroy. Just looking at the way he played last year in the first 3 rounds convinces him that he is the favorite and the final round simply makes him more motivated. McIlroy is his favorite at Augusta National but not by much.

Tiger Woods has committed to play in the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Rex thinks that if Tiger is able to win at either Doral or Bay Hill, Tiger’s chances to win The Masters go up a great deal because confidence breeds confidence. He has won many times on both courses and he has always geared his game to prepare for Augusta National and if he plays well, Tiger will simply be following a path that he has followed for years.

In his second visit to Tuesday’s edition of Morning Drive, Rex began by talking about how Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, and Keegan Bradley are all up at Augusta National today preparing for The Masters. Mickelson is showing the other two guys around and it is especially important for Keegan Bradley who is making his first Masters appearance this year.

At the Seminole Pro-Member, Rickie Fowler & Buddy Marucci and Justin Rose & Seth Waugh were the winners of this event which included some of the best players in the world and many joked that world ranking points would be available if possible. It is a special event and the

When you put Rory, Tiger, and Lee as part of a final round, you saw how big the ratings were at The Honda Classic. If you put those three together this week, you will get the same impact at Doral and it will be very exciting.