All the stars are in Miami this week for the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral's Blue Monster. In fact, the last three No. 1 ranked players in the world will all be in the same threesome for the first two rounds -- Luke Donald, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.
Before the tournament started up, we had a chance to chat with Doral PGA Head Professional Cory Head.
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Head talked to us about what it's like to work for Donald Trump, who purchased the Doral Resort a year ago. Head also offered up some great places to eat in the area, spoke about defending champion Justin Rose and explained why, if you have the chance, you need to play the Blue Monster.
PGA.com: Last year, there was the big announcement at Doral that Donald Trump would be buying the property. Have you had the opportunity to spend any time with Mr. Trump? Not many course owners are huge celebrities. It's got to be pretty cool.
Head: Absolutely, it is an incredible experience working for Mr. Trump and the Trump organization. Mr. Trump has been extremely involved and very hands on since he acquired Trump Doral back in June of 2012. When Mr. Trump is on property it is pretty amazing to listen about how excited he is to have Trump Doral in his portfolio of unbelievable clubs. Mr. Trump's vision is going to take Trump Doral to extraordinary heights. His attention to detail and eye for golf course design are what truly sets him apart from other golf course owners.
Mr. Trump promises to create the best golf experience around when he puts his name on it, and he has delivered on that promise with every golf course he has acquired. Over the next 12 months Trump Doral is going to be transformed into the best golf destination in the United States. Without Mr. Trump, this would not be possible. Trump Doral is extremely fortunate to have been acquired by Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization.
PGA.com: For people who will be in the area to attend the tournament, can you give us a couple of restaurant recommendations and what they should order at each?
Head: For the best steak around you must try Mesazul Steak house here at the resort. USDA Prime cuts and a wide array of unbelievable wine offerings are there to satisfy even the most sophisticated pallet.
If you're looking for an unbelievable hamburger, you must stop in to Champions Bar and Grill. The outdoor patio seating overlooks the 18th hole of the famous Blue Monster and provides one of the most scenic golf views ever. A nice juicy and tender burger combined with an unbelievable view is the perfect end to a great day of golf.
PGA.com: Justin Rose is the defending champion of your tournament. He has an incredible all-around game. What specific facet of the game needs to be "on" so to speak for players to succeed at Doral? It's a pretty flat course, but there's still plenty of trouble to be found.
Head: All of the pros must keep their tee shot in the fairway! The rough is incredibly thick this year thanks to the ideal weather we have had over the past two months. The ball tends to drop to the deck and is extremely difficult to control hitting out. Long shots are almost impossible and shorter shots stand no chance of holding the green. If they fail to hit the short grass, they will truly see why it is called the Blue Monster!
PGA.com: Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will each be making their third start in as many weeks at Doral (granted, they had short weeks at the WGC-Match Play with first-round losses). I would imagine that can only be good for the tournament, right? I mean, it's not like they're ever truly rusty, but they go to Doral and jump right back into competitive mode.
Head: Not that any golfers struggles are good, but two of the world’s best coming off rough weeks at the Honda can only create more excitement for us here at Trump Doral.
Doral is liked by all players and their families for many reasons, but I feel like the players really find a sense of calm here at Doral. We have seen great players, including Tiger and Rory, come off sluggish starts and play great at Doral. Doral is a place that if you hit the ball well, you can score well. This can really give the players an opportunity to move up the leaderboard in a dramatic fashion. We watched Rory climb all the way to second in the final round two years ago with an incredible final round.
The WGC-Cadillac has seen its share of great finishes and I expect to see Tiger, Rory, and all of the other professionals put on a show for the entire world to see here at Trump Doral.
PGA.com: Final question, Corey. Tell our readers why, if they ever have the chance, they have to make it out to Doral and play the Blue Monster.
Head: The Blue Monster at Doral is like no other golf course in the world. As a golfer you have the opportunity to play the same course that the top 50 touring professionals in the world have battled on for years.
So many magical moments and down the wire finishes have taken place on the Blue Monster. As a golfer to have the opportunity to play on the same course that has so much history and tradition is something all golfers must experience. Your final tee shot on the 18th tee box is something that all PGA Tour Professionals fear and that same feeling can be felt by all golfers alike. Having the opportunity to feel like a PGA Tour Professional is as good as it gets, and Trump Doral is the place to do it.