I'm not one to enjoy players struggling with really tough conditions all too often, but the television viewing today from Trump National Doral was wildly entertaining (a Golf Channel replay starts at 9 ET).
Yes, the banks on the lakes should stop balls just barely moving from trickling toward water, and that will come with the turf maturing. But it appeared the players resisted adjusting to the firmness of the greens or the severity of the winds way too often, leading to some pretty wild and wet shots. I was surprised how many times a player flew their ball to the hole or tried to use the high winds to sweep a ball into greens not holding such shots. But as the wind died down, we saw some excellent shots in the afternoon, so the course is bearable under less windy conditions.
Doug Ferguson led by saying the "the new Doral in raging wind looked a lot like an old U.S. Open on Friday." Of the numbers, he notes that "only three players broke par in the second round. No one shot in the 60s. The average score was a fraction under 76."
Dave Shedloski with a nice roundup of player quotes at GolfDigest.com, includes this from players who surprisingly did not groan about the revamped design, but that the high winds interfered with their ability to show off the design's potential.
While a few players thought the setup was too penal for a golf course that Donald Trump purposely wanted made more difficult, the gusting winds were the real issue.
"Hey, look, with no wind any golf course and any setup are fine," Webb Simpson said. "When you have conditions like this, there's so much luck that comes into play."
"It stinks that the first year they're getting extreme conditions," Bill Haas added. "A new course, it's playing as firm as it can be. And with this wind, it just exposes every little area and every bad swing."
Brian Wacker's report at PGATour.com included this:
"That was a tough golf course today," Woods said. "I don't think that we expected the golf course to be that hard that fast, but it kept getting quicker and quicker.
"It was right on the teetering point. Some of these pin locations were just ‑‑ with the wind directions, it was just impossible to get the ball close."
**Sportscenter's highlights from the day, with a nice bit of intro writing:
And The Donald is projecting an 8-under-par winning score, writes Rex Hoggard in assessing the day and Tiger's views on the course setup:
As Woods marched down the seventh fairway, however, Donald Trump watched the day’s happenings with neither a hint of surprise nor remorse.
“They haven’t even set it up hard,” said Trump, who estimated the winning score would be around 8 under, less than half of what it took to win the World Golf Championship last year.