Cadillac Championship At Doral Seemed To Lack Buzz; Time To Drop WGC Affiliation?
Published March 9, 2015
$250M in renovations were recently invested in Doral's course
The WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral this past weekend saw a “climax packed with high-stakes golf shots” that countered a vibe that had been "a little too mellow over the first three days," according to Linda Robertson of the MIAMI HERALD. Even PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem “acknowledged he’d heard the tournament described as ‘flat’ and lacking ‘buzz.’” But “all that changed midafternoon” yesterday, when tourney winner Dustin Johnson made his move. Course owner Donald Trump also “was everywhere Sunday,” talking up the $250M in improvements at Doral, “especially the redesigned course with which the golfers have a love/hate relationship.” Trump: “I didn’t just fix it; I blew it up. It was flat, and tired. We’ve added so many features. There was hardly a blade of grass out here." Robertson noted Trump “envisions Doral -- destination and tournament -- getting better and better, even if the crowds and energy seemed down this year, because of the soggy weather” and the absence of Tiger Woods (MIAMI HERALD, 3/9
). GOLF WORLD’s Jamie Diaz writes “expensive tickets seemed to filter out the grassroots South Florida golf fans who helped make the old Doral events so raucous" over the years, as "sky boxes and fancy tents prevailed.” The “best way to restore buzz to the WGC stroke-play event would be expand the field to at least 120 players, and install a 36-hole cut.” In other words, make it "more like regular tour events.” Doral “should drop its WGC affiliation.” With the same dates, “very few players would skip it.” Trump’s improvements “would remain important enhancements, but the competition itself would be more vital” (GOLF WORLD MONDAY, 3/9 issue