On The Range Blog - March 7

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On The Range Talent
Host: Gary Williams (Golf Channel)
Analyst: Billy Kratzert (4-time PGA TOUR winner)
Analyst: Wayne Player (Instructor & Founder of The Player Approach)

This Week’s Events
WGC-Cadillac Championship
TPC Blue Monster at Doral - Miami, FL
Defending Champion: Nick Watney

Marquee Player
Lee Westwood
-3rd in Official World Golf Ranking
-4th in 2012 WGC-Accenture Match Play and Honda Classic
-21 career European Tour wins
-2 career PGA TOUR wins
-Caddie: Billy Foster
-Swing Instructor: Pete Cowen

Course Survey
TPC Blue Monster at Doral (Par 72 – 7,334 yards)

-Sinking birdie putts is a must: The past 3 winners have led the field in Birdie Average and finished Top 10 in Putting Average. Doral was the easiest course on the 2011 PGA TOUR when it came to Overall Putting Average, One-Putt Percentage and 3-Putt Avoidance.

-Winners tame the Par 3s: Doral has some of the toughest Par 3s on TOUR, but since the tournament moved to the Blue Monster in 2007, every single winner has finished Top 10 in Par 3 scoring.

-Gotta have a hot start: The Par 5, 1st hole is one of the easiest holes on the PGA TOUR. Last year’s winner Nick Watney played the hole 5-under for the week (1 eagle, 3 birdies). The 2010 winner Ernie Els played the hole in 4-under (4 birdies).

Top 5: Finishing Holes on the PGA TOUR
This week the PGA TOUR heads to TPC Blue Monster at Doral, known for one of the toughest and most recognizable finishing holes in golf. Where does it stack up against the other 18th holes on the PGA TOUR? Here are the results of our On The Range Poll and our analyst rankings for Top 5 Golfers of All-Time (Share your thoughts or Top 5 in the comments section):

Billy Kratzert
1. Pebble Beach ('Provides everything you desire in a Par 5. Plus, there's not a better view in golf.')
2. Riviera
3. Doral
4. Congressional
5. Quail Hollow

Gary Williams
1. Pebble Beach ('The 18th hole is one of the most majestic Par 5s in the world.')
2. Riviera
3. TPC Sawgrass
4. Quail Hollow
5. Congressional

Viewer Poll Results
1. Pebble Beach
2. TPC Sawgrass
3. Bay Hill
4. Doral
5. Quail Hollow

Featured Groups
WGC-Cadillac Championship
Coverage Begins Thursday at 12:30PM ET on Golf Channel

Thursday, 11:20AM ET (10th)
Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, Hunter Mahan

Thursday, 11:50AM ET (10th)
Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood

Thursday, 12:30PM ET (1st)
Steve Stricker, Martin Kaymer, Webb Simpson

Thursday, 12:40PM ET (1st)
Tiger Woods, Nick Watney, Sergio Garcia