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TPC Blue Monster a Longstanding PGA Tour Tradition: A Fan's Preview

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Overview:

Checking in at TPC's Blue Monster this week the PGA Tour continues its "Florida Swing." Pros should be able to accumulate plenty of low scores at the Blue Monster. Last year, the WGC Cadillac Championship was ranked 34th out of 51 tournaments in difficulty.

But what "the Monster" lacks in difficulty it makes up for in character. The course is considered a must-play thanks in large part to the unique layout that brings eight small lakes into play on nearly every hole. Doral Resort and Spa, the home of the Blue Monster, has been hosting PGA Tour events for five decades. The course was restored in 1996, and in 2003 management added 166 yards to bring it to its current 7,291-yard length.

Where they'll struggle:

#18 - Par-4 - 467 yards

The pros will have plenty of opportunities to collect birdies on holes 1 through 17, but they'll be put to the test on 18. A headwind generally greets players on the tee. While that makes the hole play longer than advertised, a tiny 25-yard landing area can be just as punishing. Players will want to avoid the right side of this hole at all costs. Deep Bermuda grass rough awaits any errant tee shots. The ideal tee shot will find its way to the left side of the fairway. From there, players can attack the long narrow green whose entire left side is flanked with water. Par here is not a bad thing; last year, the Blue Monster's 18th-hole surrendered just 27 birdies during the entire WGC Cadillac Championship.

Where they'll score:

#1 - Par-5 - 529 yards

Expect to see plenty of rounds to get off to a quick start thanks to this short par-5. Last year, the first hole gave up only 8 bogeys and saw more pros log birdies than pars on hole 1. Easily reachable in two shots, plenty of pros will be putting for eagle this week on this short, straight starting hole.

Kent Lister is a journalist working in the Midwest. He's covered a number of PGA Tour events over the years, and has spent the better part of his life playing competitive golf. From junior tournaments all the way up to NCAA tournaments, and while organized golf has come to an end for Lister, he continues spending a disproportionately large amount of time perfecting his game. Follow him on twitter @listerkent for a complete rundown of all his previews.

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