Mar
10
2011
Behind-the-Scenes at Doral: The Quiet Before the Storm
By Stephanie Wei under Behind the Scenes

Similar to last week’s Honda Classic at PGA National, most of the players and some of the media stay on site at Doral for the WGC-Cadillac Championship. My commute is a little rougher this week, though — instead of just walking through the hotel lobby and bar, I actually have to walk outside to get to work (see above picture). So tough, I know! Well, apparently it’s allergy season in South Florida already because my allergies, along with Bubba Watson’s, are in full bloom.

At events like these, it’s not rare to run into players just about everywhere you go — even at the bar, so I’ve heard. I barely walked out of my room this morning before I saw Geoff Ogilvy and Luke Donald. I ventured into the lobby and I saw Padraig Harrington coming from the gym. Exciting stuff!

I haven’t decided whether this is cool or not, but if you’re the world’s no. 1 golfer, you can roam freely without being recognized. Last night while Martin Kaymer was waiting in the lobby for a friend, he was making small talk with a lady who clearly had no idea who he was. When I walked past them, I heard her say, “Oh, you’re German?” A few moments later, two men approached Martin and asked to take a picture with him. Now realizing he was someone pseudo-famous, the lady asked the guys who he was. She looked very embarrassed.

A few hours earlier, Martin signed autographs for fans after he finished practicing.

Okay, let’s take a look at the practice days, which, to be honest, have been relatively quiet, in pictures. Dustin Johnson has been pretty quiet so far in 2010. His best finish was T3 at the Farmers Insurance Open. A few weeks ago, he moved to Jupiter, Florida, from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and after a fling with Natalie Gulbis, he’s back with his ex-girlfriend. At the Steve Marino Ping Pong Invitational, he said he had been struggling on his greens, but he’d been working hard on his putting. Here now, he’s practicing on Tuesday:

Lee Westwood’s caddie Billy gets real close to the ground to make sure his boss is aimed on line.

I wonder if this kid is a Rickie Fowler fan. Hope so.

Ryo Ishikawa has his own separate area to handle media requests.

No habla Ingles? No problemo!

Just a shot of the practice green. It’s another hazy day this morning at Doral — thunderstorms are expected to roll through this afternoon.

Who’s hands do those belong to? — check out the extra fat grip. Marty Hackel, aka Mr. Style, thinks it’s a great fashion statement!

If you said Y.E. Yang, then you were right!

Rory McIlroy rolled putts from 20 feet on the practice green Wednesday afternoon. He played nine holes in the morning. Asked how the course was playing, he simply said, “Good! Firm greens.”