The par-4 18th at TPC Blue Monster proved to be a mighty tough test in Round 1.
With Donald Trump taking over the Doral Golf Resort and Spa in June, and the architect Gil Hanse hired to renovate the golf course -- currently known as the TPC Blue Monster at Doral -- it's a certainty that change will sweep through the premises like the 25 mph east wind that blew across the place on Thursday.
And if the first round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship proved anything, it's that no changes are needed at the legendary18th hole at the 50-year-old golf course.
At least, not if the objective is to challenge the best players in the world to make par at the final hole. That's what three of the top four did. Adam Scott (66) Thomas Bjorn (68) and Charl Schwartzel (68) all negotiated the 467 yards in four strokes. Jason Dufner, who shot 66 and was tied at the top with Scott, could have had the lead alone but bogeyed 18.
With the huge lake bordering the left, palm trees and heavy rough to the right and the prevailing wind whistling across the hole, as it expected to do for the remainder of the tournament, there is basically no bailout available.
Schwartzel, the reigning Masters champion who finished second here in 2010, said his par at the 18th -- which he played with a driver and a 5-iron -- "felt like an eagle."
"That's as tough a wind as you can play it in," he said. "If you bail, you are probably going to make bogey anyway. It's one of those where you have to just take it on. I ran off there with a 4. I'm very happy."