WGC Cadillac Championship 2016: Five to follow in the First Round Leader betting

Does Brooks have the power to tame Doral?
Does Brooks have the power to tame Doral?

Dan Geraghty picks out five from the First Round Leader market at the year's first World Golf Championship at Doral...


"Brooks Koepka put in a fine performance on his debut here last year, just missing out on the FRL places and finishing a respectable 17th, with that experience in the bank, back the American to end day one in the money on a course that plays to his strengths."

PGA National played tough last week and we have another severe test for this week's elite field, at Doral. Last year only seven players broke 70 on day one; J.B Holmes blitzed the field and big hitters dominated from the off - the first day's leaderboard looked like this:

Holmes 62
Moore 66
Fowler 68
D. Johnson 68
Levy 68
Koepka 69
Stenson 69


There are only two hours between every tee time and the first day's weather looks perfect, so a player's start time is not really a FRL consideration here. There have been some course alterations since last year's contest in a bid to curb the big hitters' advantage but it's far from guaranteed to stop the bombers brigade making hay, so with Driving Distance stats to the fore, here we go.

Brooks Koepka put in a fine performance on his debut here last year, just missing out on the FRL places and finishing a respectable 17th, with that experience in the bank, back the American to end day one in the money on a course that plays to his strengths.

Koepka is playing with Louis Oosthuizen in round one, the South African has taken a while to get to grips with Doral, this is his ninth appearance and his sixth-placed finish last year was his only top 10 to date. However, that finish on the revamped course reads well and Oosthuizen comes into this week off the back of an excellent win on the European Tour last week.

Oosthuizen's compatriot Charl Schwartzel is another South African major winner that has started to find form again. Schwartzel has three top 10s in his last six appearances at Doral and his game looks in perfect shape to add to that fine record; he's my each way selection this week.

Anirban Lahiri struggled on his first visit to Doral (last year). The big hitting Indian golfer shot a first round 80 and never recovered, eventually finishing 71st, one place from the foot of the field. Since then he seems to have made strides in acclimatising to golf in the US, he put in a fantastic performance to finish fifth at last year's PGA Championship and has made five from seven PGA Tour cuts this season; he also shared the first round lead at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January.

I know I stated tee times were of little importance, and they are, but my eye is certainly drawn to Scott Hend being in the first group on the first tee. The Australian has finished 16th in each of his last two appearances here and is among the biggest hitters in the field. The well-travelled Australian has been in the form of his life in recent years, with five of his career wins coming since 2013.


Recommended Bets

Back Brooks Koepka @ 33/1
Back Louis Oosthuizen @ 33/1
Back Charl Schwartzel @ 40/1
Back Anirban Lahiri @ 125/1
Back Scott Hend @ 150/1

*1 point E/W on each


Follow me on twitter: @dangeraghty10


2016 First Round Leader P&L:

+61pts

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