AND SO the plot thickens. Attention at this week’s WGC Cadillac Championship seems certain to be focused on Rory McIlroy, following the latest setback in a horrific start to the year for the world No1.
McIlroy is expected to tee off at Doral on Thursday despite abandoning the defence of his Honda Classic title halfway through the second round, citing problems with his wisdom teeth.
It followed the Northern Irishman’s first round exit at the WGC World Match Play Championship last month and a missed cut in Abu Dhabi, and it is very difficult to assess just what has gone wrong.
I don’t really buy the theory that it is down to his change in clubs from Titleist to Nike, although the longer his troubles continue the more it’s likely to affect his mindset.
Playing again this weekend is his best bet of recovering quickly, but my tip for success is Phil Mickelson.
Mickelson is a former winner at this event, having triumphed in 2009, and already has a title under his belt this year.
He looks to be gearing up well for the Masters and, with the top ranked players still looking for form, the experienced American has an excellent chance.
Defending champion Justin Rose, who finished strongly to tie for fourth on Sunday, is playing well and will relish returning to the scene of last year’s victory.
Australian Geoff Ogilvy may be without a title since 2009 but showed signs of a return to form by finishing runner-up to Michael Thompson at the Honda Classic. Look out for him and other past winners Ernie Els and Nick Watney this week.
Sam Torrance OBE is in the City this Friday 8 March at the Chiswell Brewery for the City A.M. Long Lunch with sporting stars including Phil Tufnell, Josh Lewsey, Thomas Castaignede and our columnists Trevor Steven, Andy Lloyd and Jason Leonard. There are a few tables left from mbnpromotions.co.uk or 0845 543 8277 by lunchtime today.