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On top of the world, now Rory has to stay there

All of the world’s top 50 players are scheduled to compete at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa’s TPC Blue Monster in Florida, with no cut after the second round.

Rory McIlroy: world's top golfer.
Rory McIlroy: world's top golfer.
Image: omnisport

NEW WORLD NUMBER one Rory McIlroy headlines a star-studded field at the WGC-Cadillac Championship starting tomorrow.

The 22-year-old Northern Irishman became the second-youngest player ever to hit the top ranking with his win at the Honda Classic on Sunday.

McIlroy has a strong record in World Golf Championship tournaments, but is still searching for his first win. He finished second at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship on February 26, the closest he has come.

All of the world’s top 50 players are scheduled to compete at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa’s TPC Blue Monster in Florida, with no cut after the second round. Breezy conditions are expected as the likes of McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Charl Schwartzel, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer compete for the $1.4 million winner’s prize.

Defending champion Nick Watney returns, but he has made a less than impressive start to this season. Woods again appears to be McIlroy’s biggest threat in Florida after an eight-under 62 in the final round of the Honda Classic saw him finish tie for second.

The 14-time major winner is closing in on his best form, and is a three-time winner at the TPC Blue Monster. South African Schwartzel, last year’s US Masters winner, has finished in the top five in four of his last seven events, while world number three Westwood is in solid form but has a poor record at the Doral course with no top 15s in his four starts there.

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If Luke Donald wins at the imposing 7,334-yard course, he will return to world number one, while Westwood requires a victory and for McIlroy to finish worse than third. American Phil Mickelson, the 2009 champion, returns after a rest, while WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship winner Hunter Mahan also comes back following a break.

Hitting greens in regulation at the TPC Blue Monster has proved challenging for players, with the majority of scoring done on the putting surfaces. The par-72 course features a famous par-four 467-yard finishing hole which is ranked among the most difficult on the PGA Tour.

A difficult wind makes the drive tough with the fairway narrowing to just 25 yards at the end of a lake, widening beyond that, with water on the left side of the green another obstacle.

McIlroy has impressed to reach the top ranking, and he will need to be at his best if he is to claim consecutive titles.

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TheScore Team

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