The nomadic World Golf Championship event now known as the Workday Championship returns to Florida and a new venue having spent the past four years in Mexico. Here is all you need to know about this week’s event, including the nine Aussies teeing it up.
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Patrick Reed finished birdie-birdie-birdie-bogey to defeat Bryson DeChambeau by one shot at Club de Golf Chapultepec. The former Masters winner’s total of 266 giving him a second World Golf Championship title.
COURSE: Opened in 2006, The Concession Golf Club is named for the famous conceded putt by Jack Nicklaus in his 1969 Ryder Cup match with Englishman Tony Jacklin. The two major winners designing the course together.
Host of the 2015 NCAA Championship won by DeChambeau, The Concession is considered one of the hardest courses in the Tampa Bay region of Florida, with large and eye-catching bunkering and small, heavily contoured greens among its features. The greens influenced by Nicklaus’ work at Sebonack Golf Club in New York with Tom Doak.
The location chosen due to difficulties of holding the event in Mexico due to COVID-19.
PLAYERS TO WATCH …
World No.1 and two-time champion Dustin Johnson has won every WGC event, and arrives in an extremely rich vein of form that has him as the firm favourite once again this week. Johnson’s T8 last week at Riviera marked his 11th straight finish inside the top-15, a run that includes three wins amongst nine top-10s.
The reigning Masters champion’s prodigious power and wedge play will be an advantage at The Concession this week, and his occasionally streaky putting has been solid of late and is negated by a new venue and putting surfaces that will be largely unfamiliar to most of the players.
RIGHT: Patrick Reed took home a second WGC win in Mexico last year. PHOTO: Rob Carr/Getty Images.
Bryson DeChambeau’s inconsistent form continued last week with a missed cut at the Genesis Invitational, but the American returns to a venue where he has previously had success and has a course knowledge advantage over much of the field.
The U.S. Open winner took home college golf’s top prize here in 2015 and his continual mission to add power to his game will suit the venue perfectly this week.
The 27-year-old, who now averages almost 328 yards off the tee, has struggled with his putting and iron play during the 2020/21 season, and will need to find something with both if he is to contend this week.
After closing with a final round 67 to secure fourth on his own last week, Cameron Smith solidified his place as the second Australian on the world rankings behind Adam Scott who is ranked five places higher.
The Queenslander started 2021 slowly after closing last year with his runner-up finish at The Masters, but returning to Florida where he has lived for a number of years and a course that will reward his outstanding wedge play on the back of a good performance will likely see him high on the leaderboard over the weekend.
72-HOLE RECORD: Seven-time winner Tiger Woods set the tournament scoring record in 2006 at The Grove in England with a total of 261, defeating Adam Scott and Ian Poulter by eight. Woods also holds the record to par, with his 25-under in 2002 in Ireland.
PAST AUSSIE WINNERS: Adam Scott (2016) and Geoff Ogilvy (2008).
AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Jason Day, Lucas Herbert, Brad Kennedy, Min Woo Lee, Marc Leishman, Wade Ormsby, Adam Scott, Jason Scrivener and Cameron Smith.