Blue Monster tests field as Scott leads
DORAL, FLA. It’s called the Blue Monster for a reason.
The 18 holes at Trump National Doral, home to the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, are an inviting sort, with the soothing lakes, emerald fairways and swaying palm trees forming an idyllic setting. At other times, the Blue Monster is as inviting as a dark alley.
No matter how well things are going around this place, the Blue Monster, where water comes into play on 10 holes and the gnarly rough drives the players nuts on every hole, will rear its ugly head.
Just ask Rickie Fowler, who was in contention in Friday’s second round before dumping tee shots into the water on consecutive holes.
Or ask Marcus Fraser, who had a share of the lead after 18 holes but shot 77 in the second round.
Phil Mickelson was rolling after four consecutive birdies on his front nine and had a two- shot lead. Then a three- putt on the 13th led to a bogey, and a rinsed tee shot on the 15th led to a double and a 40 on his back nine that knocked him out of the lead.
“All of them,” Bubba Watson said when asked what tee shots concern him the most. “Being dead honest. If you want me to go through my round, I can tell you my thoughts. And you’ll laugh, because you’ll be like, gosh, you’re a head case.
“On 17, I don’t know how you hit that fairway. On 10, if I cut it, because I like to cut the ball, if I over- cut it, it’s in the water. On 11, seems like there’s no fairway, it’s all bunker. On 12, you’ve got trouble over here if I pull it and you’ve got water if I overs lice it. You want me to keep going?” No, we get the point. Even defending champion Dustin Johnson, who tamed the Monster with a bogeyfree, 8- under- par 64 in the second round, gave the course his respect in post- round interviews. “I think the golf course is fantastic. It’s in great shape. The greens are perfect. But it’s not an easy golf course,” Johnson said. “This year, the greens are a hair softer than they have been the last two years, so it’s playing a couple shots easier. Maybe. But it’s still tough. You’ve still got to drive it in the fairway and you’ve still got to hit it on the greens. You can’t take it easy anywhere out here.”
At times, Adam Scott made it look easy. Last weekend’s winner in the Honda Classic took the halfway lead with a 66 to get to 10 under, two shots clear of Johnson and Rory McIlroy, who putted extremely well with his new left- hand low grip and shot 65. Danny Willett ( 69) is another shot back, and Watson ( 69) is tied with Charley Hoffman ( 70) at 6 under.
“I think overall, it was just a lot of good stuff,” Scott said. “Enough quality shots and enough quality putts to negate a couple of mistakes out there. ... So I’m glad there was enough of the good stuff to keep me up on top and kind of setting the pace after halfway.”
McIlroy needed just 23 putts. “I just needed to play a round without as many mistakes,” he said.
World No. 1 Jordan Spieth couldn’t get any momentum en route to four birdies and four bogeys and a 72.
Adam Scott made his way around the TPC BlueMonster in 6- under- par 66 at Trump National Doral to take the lead after the second round.