King Charl a Monster bet

  • By: David John
  • Last Updated: March 5 2013, 11:44 GMT

David John looks to continue our good golf run by siding with Charl Schwartzel at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral.

Charl Schwartzel: Big chance at Doral this week
Charl Schwartzel: Big chance at Doral this week

You can back the world number one Rory McIlroy at 25/1 in the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral after last week's debacle at the Honda Classic but I doubt there will be too many takers.

His high-profile exit on Friday after hacking around for eight holes with toothache means he will have more explaining to do despite admitting on Monday that walking off the course was neither good for his own image or the game as a whole.

Close friend Graeme McDowell revealed that he has looked a shadow of the player from 2012 on the range as the adjustment period to his new Nike equipment continues, but he will at least have the chance - dental issues permitting - to get 72 competitive holes under his belt for the first time this year as there is no cut in this event.

I just can't see McIlroy competing at the moment. Four solid rounds will fundamentally be his aim so I doubt we will get the chance to see how well the new equipment copes under the pressure of the closing nine on a Sunday.

Tiger Woods heads the betting at 12/1 and is looking for a fourth success over Doral's 'Blue Monster' course. An interesting statistic for him is from the 23 times he has played over three straight weeks or longer in the past, he has won 15 times.

Woods could never really land a blow at PGA National and a closing round of 74 was only really tidied up on the last when he made eagle after losing a ball and hitting a couple in the drink.

He felt he was not driving the ball quite as well as at Torrey Pines but only needs to tidy up a few areas to get his game somehwere near where it should be - if that is achieved he will be thereabouts bearing in mind the old adage that Tiger's return to recent winning form has come at all the courses he has enjoyed in the past.

With that in mind, perhaps Bay Hill in a fortnight will be the place to get with him again.

Second favourite is Charl Schwartzel and he is going to be the first selection from a win-only perspective at 16/1.

The quality of the golf he has produced since the back of 2012 was put into clear perspective last week with a tie for ninth representing his worst performance in his last eight strokeplay tournaments.

He seems to be back in full working order following the rib problem that had troubled him and a win in the United States looks the next logical step this season after thrashing lesser fields in Thailand and South Africa before Christmas.

Schwartzel also comes highly recommended in terms of course form having finished runner-up in 2010 after a battle down the stretch with Ernie Els and also inside the top five 12 months ago.

Schwartzel said: "It gives you a bit confidence knowing you have done well on this course. It is a course that suits my eye."

It looks like time for an end to the high finishes and instead captue a trophy so I am happy to back him to achieve that objective.

Geoff Ogilvy's performance last week will mean he has plenty of supporters but it is fellow Australian Adam Scott who I think will put in a big performance at 28/1.

Scott, like Schwartzel, has strung together a consistent spell of tournaments if you discount a first-round exit at the WGC-Accenture Match Play with five consecutive top-15s that included a victory at the Australian Masters.

He faded over the weekend here 12 months ago after a 66-68 opening but has still notched top-15s in the last two seasons, saying: "I have really got my head around this place. I feel comfortable here."

He arrives nice and fresh having taken last week off and I get the impression he will have been inspired enough by Ogilvy's display to really make an impact.

Next up is Jim Furyk, who gets a fair amount of stick for his lack of finishing prowess but his price still looks a bit of an insult at 66/1 with BetVictor and sportingbet.

He was a winner at this course in 2000 and has admitted in past interviews that he always enjoys his trips to Doral. We have to go back to 2010 for his last visit to the winner's circle, when he took three titles - including the Tour Championship and the Transitions Championship, the latter also in Florida.

Last year saw him get an inordinate amount of grief for failing to close out victories at the Bridgestone Invitational and McGladrey Classic but I still feel he can beat the best around under pressure when in with a chance.

Florida has been his home for years and he is very much at ease in the conditions so, both here and next week in Tampa at the Transitions, make Furyk a player to be interested in.

Finally, I am going to put up debutant Robert Garrigus at 55/1 as he currently ranks number one on the PGA Tour in the All-Round statistics category.

I fancied Garrigus to go well in the Match Play a fortnight ago and he was certainly talking up his chances in between games having taken the early scalps of Branden Grace and Louis Oosthuizen.

But he managed to tweak his wrist on his opening tee-shot of the quarter-final against Matt Kuchar and that just about ended any hope he had against the eventual winner.

I don't think it was a particurlarly serious issue and taking the following week off will have done no harm so I expect him to be raring to go once again on a course where he has the power to take advantage.

"Confidence is sky high, it's through the roof, so (I'm) looking forward to the next few weeks," he said after the loss to Kuchar and I expect a big effort from him after starting the 2013 campaign T16-T6-T11-T22 in strokeplay events.

Throw in the fact he returns to Florida, the scene of his sole PGA Tour win to date in 2010, and there is every reason to believe Garrigus has both his game and mindset in the perfect position to challenge strongly.

  • The tournament is being televised live in the UK on Sky Sports.

  • Preview posted at 1140 GMT on 05/03/2013.