Jim McLean gives Doral intimidating one-two punch

By Erik PetersonMarch 8, 2010, 11:57 pm
jim mclean course doral hole 14
No. 14 at Doral's Jim McLean Signature Course is just as intimidating as No. 17 at TPC Sawgrass

MIAMI – For amateurs and PGA Tour golfers alike, the TPC Blue Monster at Doral is one of South Florida's most daunting tests. And with the recent opening of the Jim McLean Signature Course at Doral, the resort now boasts the most intimidating one-two punch in the Southeast.

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The 18-hole championship layout, formerly known as the Silver Course, was redesigned by noted golf instructor Jim McLean, who not only has his flagship golf school at Doral but also was lauded for his redesign of the Blue Monster in 1999.

'That worked out very well,' McLean said of his 1999 project. 'The top tour players came back to Doral. They loved the changes back to the original Dick Wilson look. Our rounds of golf were taking close to six hours, and that dropped way back to under five hours.'

But while the TPC Blue Monster is most notorious for one hole – its water-lined, par-4 finisher – the Jim McLean course – for which McLean consulted Tom Fazio – has three holes in succession that will grab your attention. The trio is aptly dubbed the Bermuda Triangle.

The adventure begins at the par-4 13th, where players must avoid a lake that hugs the right side of the fairway from tee to green. The fairway is broad, but there's little room for error beyond it.

No. 14 is considered the signature hole at the Jim McLean course, and for good reason. This island-green par 3 is as diabolical as it is visually stunning. It's like No. 17 on the Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass, but the green is smaller, and there's a little more rough around the green. Good luck!

No. 15 is the easiest of the Bermuda Triangle holes, but for the third straight hole, any shot right of the target will meet a watery grave. The elevated, two-tiered green is this hole's greatest defense. Play a fairway metal or hybrid off the tee, and you'll have a simple approach shot. Like the other holes in the Bermuda Triangle, par here is a great score.

A tough beginning on the Jim McLean Signature Course at Doral

Don't get ahead of yourself, though. Before you get to the Bermuda Triangle, you'll have to navigate your way through a difficult opening stretch.

'The first three holes from the back tees are the toughest starting holes in Florida and likely the U.S.A.,' McLean said.

So why make the course so difficult? McLean says it's all about creating a memorable golf experience.

'Golfers are not traveling to play mediocre golf courses,' he said. 'The idea was always to get our guests at Doral to take the shuttle over to the Jim McLean course and also to have golfers traveling to South Florida make this a 'must-play' golf course.'

Upgrades at Doral Golf Resort & Spa

If you thought the Jim McLean Signature Course is the only thing Doral has going on, think again. It's just one item on a $16 million list of upgrades the resort is making. Other projects include a partnership with the PGA Tour's TPC to rename the Blue Monster, TPC Blue Monster at Doral, as well as the enhancement of The Great White Course and Gold Course with TifEagle greens.

Proof that positive change is well under way, Mesazul, a South American steakhouse opened during the 2010 CA Championship, as well as Bossa Nova, a Latin lounge.

A $5 million renovation of the spa also took place, with the recent opening of the Pritikin Spa and Wellness Center.

The golf star in Miami shines brighter because of Doral Resort & Spa and the new Jim McLean Signature Course at Doral. But don't be caught star-gazing or bogey beckons.
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Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
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Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

12/1: Dustin Johnson

16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

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Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.

Updated Official World Golf Ranking

There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

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Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

“I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

“I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”