After their superb performances in the Ballantine’s Championship, Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell and Jeev Milkha Singh of India join the contest to try to topple Tiger Woods at the World Golf Championships – CA Championship at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa in Miami.
A record 42 European Tour Members will tee up at the daunting Blue Monster course, once again highlighting the positive evolution of The European Tour’s strength in depth. McDowell and Singh are amongst the form players in that record European Tour contingent, along with current Order of Merit leader Henrik Stenson of Sweden and Number Two, Lee Westwood of England.
Westwood’s turned in a strong performance in last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club and Lodge, finishing tied 17th, and he will be looking to join the group of European Tour Members – currently standing at Darren Clarke, Ernie Els and Stenson - as the winner of a World Golf Championships event. To do that, they will have break the winning streak of defending champion Woods.
Woods, whose relentless quest to rewrite golf’s history books has gathered further momentum in 2008 following the World Number One’s 100 per cent record from five starts, including the Dubai Desert Classic and the Arnold Palmer Invitational. In all, Woods is on a roll of seven straight victories.
Indeed, Woods has dominated the WGC – CA Championship, winning the title on no fewer than six occasions since 1999, but McDowell’s bold performance in beating Singh at the third extra hole on Sunday has provided the belief he needs in his search for a place in next month’s Masters Tournament.
“It’s obviously a massive bonus to get into Doral, said McDowell. “I knew coming into this two or three week stretch that I needed somewhere in the region of €150,000. That was certainly one of my goals for the three weeks, to give myself a chance to get into Doral.
“I played really well last week tee to green and really could not have played any better. I was disappointed with my putting performance on the greens. I had to have a slight change in my mental approach this week, which I did, and I have to say it seemed to work.
“I’m very excited obviously with it being a Ryder Cup year, I want to be playing in the WGCs and the Majors. Obviously with my World Ranking, that was something but I can't do much about at the moment. It's massive to be chalking one up and put some more points on the board.
“Obviously the ultimate goal this year is to make Nick Faldo's Ryder Cup Team in September and I am trying to give myself every possible opportunity to do that now. I feel like my game is improving all the time and I’ve got a great team of people around me.”
Despite losing a play-off for the Ballantine’s Championship, Singh was overjoyed to be joining McDowell in the field for the WGC- CA Championship.
“I am looking forward to Doral because I'm playing well,” he said. “I gave it a good effort this week and I’m looking forward to Doral because I'm playing well - maybe there's something better waiting for me there.”