Club Chapultepec Key Fantasy Stats

WGC – Mexico Championship

February 20th – 23rd, 2020

Club de Golf Chapultepec

Mexico City, Mexico

Par: 71 / Yardage: 7,355

Purse: $10.5 million

with $1,787,560 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Dustin Johnson

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:

This is based on the most important stats for Club de Golf Chapultepec, based on data from last year’s WGC-Mexico Championship, and using data from all the players in the field with stats from 2020. What we do is take their rank for each stat and then add up the four categories.
The first thing to understand, this is just the fourth time that the Club de Golf Chapultepec is being used. Between 2007 and 2016 for ten years the event was played at Doral Blue just outside of Miami. That course was totally different and with the winds coming off the ocean, the conditions were totally different, so we really can only use the history of the last three events.
The course, Club de Golf Chapultepec, is 10 miles from downtown Mexico City and is one of its countries’ most popular course. The scoring average of the field last year was 70.86 making it the 17th hardest course on the PGA Tour last year. In 2018 to course average was 70.35 and the 31st hardest course on tour while in it’s first year in use it played to a 71.05 average and was the 22nd hardest course on tour. So if you look at the average of last year and 2017 you can see that the course plays just a notch under its par of 71.
One of the great things about World Golf Championship events is the fact that it gets the best to play, but that won’t be the case this year as Tiger Woods, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka, Henrik Stenson, Jason Day and Patrick Cantlay (Cantlay having elective surgery on his septum, hopes to be back for the Player Championship) are not playing. The reasons are complicated and there are three reasons. First is the course itself, some may not like the course or feel it doesn’t suit there game. But in the case of Club de Golf Chapultepec, that isn’t the reason as their have been very little complaints about the course. So it’s one of these two reasons. Mexico City is an international city, but safety-wise your not going to get into your car after play and go into Mexico City for dinner and a night on the town. It’s simply not a good idea, so players pretty much stick to the hotel and golf course, so for some that could be restrictive. Another problem and Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson are a good example, in 2017 both had a case of food poisoning and for Stenson, he returned last year and finished T-54th so that may of had something to do with his decision. Again Mexico City isn’t like L.A. or Monterey or Phoenix in which the odds of getting food poisoning is low. So this could be a reason some don’t come. But the third reason is a good one and many feel the real reason for players not going to Mexico. The schedule is packed this time of year. The Genesis Invitational has become a great tournament that many players like to play in and with nine of the top-ten in the Official World Rankings showing up, it’s now a hot spot. Look at the schedule after Mexico, you have a run of the Honda Classic, which most of the players in Florida would like to play, then you have the Arnold Palmer in Orlando, another top event. After that is the Players Championship, of course, you have to play in that one. So if you play in the Genesis there are four great events in a row after that. It doesn’t get easier to pick after the Players you have the Valspar, which is on a great course and many people love that event. After that another WGC event, the Dell Match Play which again is a key event for players. After that and the week before the Masters is the Valero Texas Open, so the PGA Tour is the problem, way too many really great events in a row. So if you have to pick a week off, going to Mexico is probably a good choice to take a week off. As big as the WGC-Mexico Championship is with it’s $1.8 million dollars first-place check, for many we can see why they are taking a week off.
Now looking at the course, it’s one that does favor those that hit it long, it’s a “Bombers Course.” The biggest thing is its elevation, it’s just over 7,600 feet above sea level making it the highest course ever played on the PGA Tour. The last three years despite the course is lush and the ball has very little roll to it, still, the course average drive on all the holes was 303.6 yards making it the course with the highest driving average of any course on the PGA Tour. In 2018 only one course was longer Firestone and in 2017 five courses saw longer driving averages.
So we can see off the bat that the course is big for long hitters, especially since it ranks 17th in driving accuracy. One thing that is important is the fact that most players hit a lot of fairways and greens which makes you tend to think the course is not that hard. Each year the tournament is played the rough is longer making it harder to hit the green if you miss the fairway

In looking at the stats for Club de Golf Chapultepec, in 2017 the first stat that struck one is strokes gained Tee-to-Green as that stat was led by winner Dustin Johnson and five of those in the top-ten in this stat were in the top-ten of the tournament. But in 2018 that wasn’t the case, winner Phil Mickelson was ranked 12th and Justin Thomas ranked 3rd and five of the top ten were in the top-ten in this stat so it’s still important. Last year winner Dustin Johnson was 2nd behind Rory McIlroy so it’s an important element in winning this championship.
Now there is no stat in comparing how a player will do well on two different courses, but Club de Golf Chapultepec has a lot of the same characteristics of Riviera Country Club. Both courses have Kikuyu fairways and Poa Annua greens On top of that both courses have lots of stately eucalyptus trees so in looking for a winner think of players that also do well at Riviera. We talk about how important it is putting on Poa Annua greens and you can see that the two winners Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson won on Riviera which has Poa Annua greens, adding more to it both have won on Pebble Beach which also has Poa Annua greens. Now the difference was night and day on the greens for Johnson winning in 2017 and Mickelson winning in 2018. For Johnson in 2017 putts from ten feet and in, only one person missed more putts than Johnson. It’s hard to believe that Dustin won making only 61 putts out of 77, most of those misses coming from four and five feet, probably due to bumpy conditions. But on the other end of the spectrum, Johnson made four putts out of 7 in the 15 to 20-foot range and two out of 13 over 25 feet. One thing that Johnson did well was having 36 one-putts, which ranked T-5th.
In 2018 Mickelson won due to on and around the greens. First, he was 2nd in Scrambling and in Strokes Gained-Putting he ranked 3rd. In putts inside ten feet, Mickelson made 65 of 69 which was 2nd best and he was good in the 10 to 15-foot range, making 4 of 8 and only made 2 putts all week over 15 feet. So we can see that putting is an important element in playing well this week. So these are the reason that Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green is our first stat and Strokes Gained-Putting is our second stat.
Last year Johnson won thanks to all the areas of his game. He was 1st in Greens in Regulation, 2nd in Scrambling and 1st in Strokes Gained Putting. On putts inside of ten feet, Johnson was 2nd, making 62 out of 67 putts. Still, we can see that putting is very important and we have chosen Strokes Gained-Putting as our 2nd most important stat.
Now our 3rd important stat is playing the par 5s the best. There are just three par 5s, one at 575, followed by one at 625 and then 632 yards and guess what, Dustin Johnson played them the best at 10 under in 2017, making ten birdies and two pars. In 2018 Phil Mickelson didn’t match Johnson but was very good playing the par 5s in 8 under, making 8 birdies, three pars, and one bogey. Last year Johnson played the par 5s in 7 under par making seven birdies for the week. Overall the course played to a 4.71 average on par 5 average, ranking T-20th in 2017. In 2018 it played to a 4.64 average and 29th hardest while last year it played to a 4.76 average and ranked T-7th.
For our last stat, we have to go with Par Breakers, not because a lot of eagles and birdies were made on the course but the fact that Dustin Johnson was 2nd for 2017 in that stat, Mickelson was T-2nd in 2018 and last year Johnson was 2nd. In 2017 six of the players were in the top-ten in ParBreakers while in 2018 8 of the 11 players in the top ten were in the top-ten in Par Breakers at the WGC-Mexico. Last year 8 of the 17 players in the top-ten were in the top-ten in Par Breakers.
In looking at the long-range forecast, the rain will not play a factor, with each day being in the high 70s. But the wind will play a factor, on Thursday and Friday it will be over 13 mph and calm down to 8 mph on Saturday and Sunday.

So here are our four choices for the most critical stats from players to do well at Club de Golf Chapultepec:

*Strokes gained Tee-to-Greens: Important because it shows how important it is in playing Club de Golf Chapultepec. The stat is a combination of driving distance, driving accuracy and greens hit.

*Strokes gained Putting: The greens average 6,200 square feet, making them average on the PGA Tour. So it’s important to see who putts the best and picks up shots on the green. With bumpy Poa Annua greens, it could spell the kiss of death if you don’t putt them well.

*Par 5 scoring average: All of the par 5s have length and even at high elevation two of the three are close to impossible to get home in two. So the ability to make birdies and eagles on them are important this week.

*Par Breakers: The course is not that demanding like last week’s venue Riviera. So with Club de Golf Chapultepec ranked 25th in this stat last year it’s important for players to make lots of eagles and birdies. Last year the field averaged making 3.73 birdies per round and there were 30 eagles.

44 of the 72 players from this year’s field with stats from this year:

Click any column title in the table header to sort columns.

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