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BlogWGC – Mexico Preview and Picks

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:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes only 42 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings.  Not playing is #2 Brooks Koepka, #6 Patrick Cantlay, #9 Tiger Woods #12 Justin Rose, #13 Tony Finau, #26 Rickie Fowler, #27 Henrik Stenson and #43 Jason Day.

Last year 45 of 50 players were in the field

The field one includes just 16 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2020.  The list of those not playing are #12 Cameron Champ, #14 Joaquin Niemann, #15 Nick Taylor, #17 Tom Hodge, #9 Tyler Duncan, #20 Tiger Woods, #21 Patrick Cantlay, #22 Andrew Landry and #25 Tony Finau.

The field includes 3 past champions: Dustin Johnson (2019, ’17 & ’15), Adam Scott (2016) and Patrick Reed (2014).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the WGC-Mexico Championship field is our performance chart listed by the average finish.  Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the WGC-Mexico Championship in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the WGC-Mexico Championship.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the WGC – Mexico Championship

Player Genesis Open AT&T Pebble Beach Phoenix Open Saudi Intern. Farmers Insurance Dubai Desert Classic The American Express Abu Dhabi Sony Open Sentry Tof C Australian PGA DP World, Dubai The RSM Classic
Webb Simpson
(225.33 pts)
DNP DNP Win
(132)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 3
(60)
DNP DNP DNP 2
(33.33)
Jon Rahm
(224 pts)
T17
(33)
DNP T9
(45)
DNP 2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP 10
(13.33)
DNP Win
(66)
DNP
Graeme McDowell
(177.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP Win
(132)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T4
(53.33)
T23
(9)
DNP DNP DNP
Dustin Johnson
(176.33 pts)
T10
(40)
T32
(18)
DNP 2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T7
(18.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Adam Scott
(176 pts)
Win
(132)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP Win
(44)
DNP DNP
Rory McIlroy
(170 pts)
T5
(70)
DNP DNP DNP T3
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 4
(40)
DNP
Sergio Garcia
(154.33 pts)
T37
(13)
DNP DNP T6
(60)
DNP T23
(18)
DNP T8
(33.33)
DNP DNP DNP T6
(30)
DNP
Matt Kuchar
(148 pts)
T2
(100)
T38
(12)
T16
(34)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T14
(12)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Tommy Fleetwood
(142.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T11
(26)
DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP 2
(50)
DNP
Abraham Ancer
(141.67 pts)
T43
(7)
DNP DNP T6
(60)
DNP DNP 2
(66.67)
DNP T38
(8)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Hideki Matsuyama
(132.67 pts)
T5
(70)
DNP T16
(34)
DNP T45
(3.33)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(25.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Bubba Watson
(120 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T3
(90)
DNP T6
(40)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Justin Thomas
(117.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T3
(90)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
Win
(44)
DNP DNP DNP
Victor Perez
(116.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T38
(12)
DNP T16
(22.67)
DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP T20
(15)
DNP
Christiaan Bezuidenhout
(114.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T21
(29)
DNP 2
(66.67)
DNP T59
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(19)
DNP
Sung Kang
(114.33 pts)
T2
(100)
CUT
(-10)
T52
(0)
DNP T16
(22.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T25
(8.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Matthew Fitzpatrick
(112.5 pts)
T30
(20)
T60
(0)
DNP DNP DNP T45
(3.33)
DNP T2
(66.67)
DNP DNP DNP 9
(22.5)
DNP
Lucas Herbert
(111 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T27
(23)
DNP Win
(88)
DNP T67
(0)
DNP DNP T64
(0)
DNP DNP
Marc Leishman
(109.67 pts)
T43
(7)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP DNP DNP T28
(14.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Collin Morikawa
(106 pts)
T26
(24)
DNP T25
(25)
DNP T21
(19.33)
DNP DNP DNP T21
(19.33)
T7
(18.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Bryson DeChambeau
(96.67 pts)
T5
(70)
DNP T52
(0)
DNP DNP T8
(33.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Xander Schauffele
(87.67 pts)
T23
(27)
DNP T16
(34)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T2
(33.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Lanto Griffin
(87 pts)
T37
(13)
T9
(45)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T7
(36.67)
13
(12.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Scottie Scheffler
(86.67 pts)
T30
(20)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP 3
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T5
(23.33)
Lee Westwood
(84.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T50
(0.67)
DNP Win
(88)
DNP DNP DNP T38
(6)
DNP
Kurt Kitayama
(83.67 pts)
DNP T18
(32)
DNP DNP DNP T6
(40)
DNP T34
(10.67)
DNP DNP DNP 48
(1)
DNP
Cameron Smith
(81.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T64
(0)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP T10
(13.33)
DNP DNP
Louis Oosthuizen
(79.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T23
(18)
DNP 5
(46.67)
DNP DNP DNP T20
(15)
DNP
Mike Lorenzo-Vera
(79 pts)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T8
(33.33)
DNP T34
(10.67)
DNP DNP DNP 3
(45)
DNP
Shane Lowry
(75.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T13
(37)
DNP T11
(26)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(19)
DNP
Sebastian Munoz
(74 pts)
T26
(24)
DNP T47
(3)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T21
(19.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T17
(11)
DNP DNP 3
(30)
Patrick Reed
(67.67 pts)
T51
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
T6
(40)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T2
(33.33)
DNP T28
(11)
DNP
Kevin Kisner
(67.33 pts)
DNP T38
(12)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T4
(53.33)
T14
(12)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Brandt Snedeker
(65.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T3
(60)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(25.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Brendon Todd
(61.67 pts)
T56
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T37
(8.67)
DNP T21
(19.33)
29
(7)
DNP DNP 4
(26.67)

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the WGC – Mexico Championship

Player Genesis Open AT&T Pebble Beach Phoenix Open Saudi Intern. Farmers Insurance Dubai Desert Classic The American Express Abu Dhabi Sony Open Sentry Tof C Australian PGA DP World, Dubai The RSM Classic
Francesco Molinari
(-18.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T40
(5)
DNP
Shugo Imahira
(-13.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Jason Kokrak
(-7.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T21
(19.33)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Taehee Lee
(-6.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Jazz Janewattananond
(-6.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T56
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Lucas Glover
(-5 pts)
DNP T50
(1)
DNP DNP T49
(0.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Zander Lombard
(0.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T58
(0)
DNP T34
(10.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Tyrrell Hatton
(2 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 46
(2)
DNP
Scott Hend
(5.83 pts)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T17
(22)
DNP DNP DNP T49
(0.5)
DNP
Jorge Campillo
(10 pts)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T34
(10.67)
DNP DNP DNP T18
(16)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

How tough was last week:

Mother Nature played havoc on the Genesis Open and it wasn’t due to poor weather.  The fact that it was dry, windy and low humidity created a course that many had not seen before.  Riviera was downright tough because it played so fast and the greens didn’t hold shots as well as in past years.  Adam Scott’s 11 under winning total was the lowest since James Hahn 6 under figure in 2015, again a year the course played tough and fast due to dry and windy conditions.  With conditions like there were, many felt that they were playing in a major championship, without rough that is.

Adam Scott

He finally returns to the winner’s circle for the first time since 2016.  For Scott, the win was a bit of getting back something that he thought he won but really didn’t.  In Scott’s first year at Riviera in 2005, it took an extra day and then an extra hole as Scott won the Genesis Open.  But the win was deemed unofficial as they only played 36 holes due to the rain that played havoc during the week.  This was Scott’s 12th try in this event and in the others he was runner-up twice in 2006 & ’16 and T-7th in 2019.

Rory McIlroy

We have talked about Rory’s demons over the last two years since he won at the Arnold Palmer in 2018.  Again McIlroy again found himself in the lead going into the final round but a final round 73 dropped him down to T-5th, three shots back of winner Adam Scott.  Rory found himself with a chance to win at the Farmers but shot 69 to lose by three shots.  Back in November he was in the running at the DP World Championship Dubai but shot 73 to finish 4th.  At the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, Rory shot 71 in the final round to finish five shots back of Brooks Koepka.  The same for the Wells Fargo in which he finished with a 73 to finish 8 shots back.  The fact is that for the last two years, McIlroy had his struggles on the final day.  Sure many will think I am wrong, with so many of these but the fact that Rory has scrambled to maintain things.  Will things get better in the future for McIlroy, maybe but going into the WGC-Mexico in which he was runner-up last year, we can only hope for the best.

Things you need to know about the WCG-Mexico championship

For those on the PGA Tour, this will be the second World Golf Championship of 2020; the WCG-Mexico championship will be a 72-hole, stroke-play event with a limited field of 72 players.  It will include the top-50 players in the World Golf Ranking plus the top-30 from the FedEx Cup point list from 2019, the top-10 of the 2019-20 FedEx Cup standings, the top-20 from the final 2019 Race To Dubai and the top-10 from the 2020 Race to Dubai standings.  Also the top-2 from the 2018 Japan Golf Tour, Australasian Tour, Sunshine Tour, and Asian Tour order of merit not otherwise exempt.

There will be no cut in the 72-hole event, which has a $10.5 million purse with the winner receiving $1.787 million.

This event started in 1999 when it was played for two years at Valderamma in Spain.  From there it popped around, first to Mount Juliet in Ireland, then Capital City Club in Georgia before returning to Mount Juliet in 2003.  The next year it moved to Harding Park in San Francisco and then back to Europe and the Grove outside of London.  After that, it settled to Doral, after the course lost the Ford Championship at Doral which was on the PGA Tour between 1962 – 2006.  Now the tournament has a new home in Mexico with Grup Salinas, a collection of companies based in Mexico City primarily involved in retail, television, telecommunications and other businesses.  The agreement was for seven years through 2023.

Course information:
  • Club de Golf Chapultepec
  • Mexico City, Mexico.
  • 7,330 yards     Par 35-36–71
  • A private course 10 miles from downtown Mexico City.  The club was designed by U.S. Open winner Willie Smith, who work on the course during the Mexican Revolution.  It was completed and opened in 1921.  In 1944 it held the first Mexican Open and was the host 14 times before Percy Clifford came in a completely renovated the course.
  • One of the significant characteristics of the course is that it’s heavily tree-lined and sits at an elevation of between 7,603 and 7,835 feet above sea level.  So this course will be the highest course ever played on the PGA Tour.  This year there is only one other course at a high elevation, and that is the Barracuda Championship, in Lake Tahoe, California.  The Tahoe Mt. Club is at 5,926 feet.  So with the high altitude at Chapultepec, the yardage of 7,330 will be considerably shorter.  With low humidity, the course will play between 10 and 12% shorter, so we are talking about the course playing about 6,660 yards.
  • The course is protected down both sides of the fairway with trees and of the 14 par 4s and 5s, only one hole plays straight away the par 5 sixth hole.  With the rest of the holes bending around, players have to be careful with drives over 300 yards not to run it through the dogleg and into the trees.  So this will force long hitters to play off the tee with irons so that they don’t run it through the fairways and into the trees.  So Chapultepec will be a thinking man’s course that could favor a short hitter.
  • The fairways are Kikuyu, and the greens are a mix of Poa annua and bent. They are a bit under the average size of greens and just like at Riviera, the venue of the Genesis played two weeks ago it will take a bit of patience to putt on the greens.  Remember the golden rule with Poa annua greens; if it’s sunny and hot, the grasses will grow inconsistent and become very bumpy.  One of the reasons the greens last week at Riviera were tough to putt was the lack of rain, lot’s of wind and sun, so the poa was harder to putt on.  The greens this week have lots of slope and will be firm, so it will take precision shots to not only hold the greens but get it close.  Off the tee there are 12 fairway bunkers but again in fast and dry conditions, look for players to find themselves in the trees which will create problems.  There are a total of 62 bunkers on the course and water will come into play on only three holes, six, seven and seventeen.
  • Before this event was played in 2017, the previous big event held on the course was the 2014 Mexico Open, which is on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica.  It was won by Oscar Alvarez, with a score of 17 under par, 271.  At the time it played to a par 72 as the 8th hole has been reduced from a par 5 to 4.  For that event, the course played to a 72.546 average.
  • The big question answered in its three years is that the high elevation helps players overpower the course, but with the doglegs and the maturity of the trees, they can’t overpower every hole.  One bit of the puzzle, when the course held the Mexican Open, Ben Crenshaw won it in 1981 and Jay Haas in 1991.  Both of these players hit it on the short side, so that could be a bit of a puzzle on what to expect this week.  But with Dustin Johnson winning it twice and Phil Mickelson the other time, the course favors long hitters.
  • Last year the scoring average was 70.86 and was ranked 17th hardest.  It’s still up for debate if the players are entirely in love with the course or even going to Mexico.  I would say that going to Mexico City is a bit uncomfortable for many.  In 2017 Rory McIlroy got sick and didn’t play in 2018 but returned last year.  Guess he knows better because he came close to winning last year.  Players will stick to the hotel and golf course, making sure not to get into any trouble wondering someplace they shouldn’t be.  Now I attended the 2002 World Cup when it was played in Puerto Vallarta, and I found it great.  But Puerto Vallarta is a resort town, we were by the sea only a couple of miles from the course, and there were no problems 18 years ago.  Mexico City is a much different place. Still, the PGA Tour wouldn’t go anyplace that would put players, officials or media in harm’s way, so we will probably not hear of any problems.

Let’s take a look at vital stats that are important for those playing at Club de Golf Chapultepec:

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.

Here is the link to the other 34 players with stats for the WGC-Mexico Championship.

Of the 72 in the field, 45 have played at least once in the WCG-Mexico at Club de Golf Chapultepec since 2017.  Here are the players with the most under par totals at the Chapultepec in the last three years:

  • Dustin Johnson is 47 under in 12 rounds playing 3 years
  • Justin Thomas is 36 under in 12 rounds playing 3 years
  • Sergio Garcia is 29 under in 12 rounds playing 3 years
  • Tyrrell Hatton is 29 under in 12 rounds playing 3 years
  • Rory McIlroy is 26 under in 8 rounds playing 2 years
  • Paul Casey is 26 under in 12 rounds playing 3 years
  • Tommy Fleetwood is 26 under in 12 rounds playing 3 years
  • Rafael Cabrera-Bello is 20 under in 12 rounds playing 3 years
  • Jon Rahm is 17 under in 12 rounds playing 3 years
  • Francesco Molinari is 16 under in 12 rounds playing 3 years
  • Xander Schauffele is 14 under in 8 rounds playing 2 years
  • Kevin Kisner is 14 under in 12 rounds playing 3 years
  • Bubba Watson is 13 under in 12 rounds playing 3 years
  • Jordan Spieth is 11 under in 12 rounds playing 3 years
  • Matthew Fitzpatrick is 11 under in 12 rounds playing 3 years
  • Brandt Snedeker is 10 under in 4 rounds playing 1 year
  • Cameron Smith is 10 under in 4 rounds playing 1 year
  • Hideki Matsuyama is 8 under in 8 rounds playing 2 years

*Here are the ones with the best under par totals averaging it per years played

  • Dustin Johnson is 47 under, playing 3 years (-15.7)
  • Rory McIlroy is 26 under, playing 2 years (-13.0)
  • Justin Thomas is 36 under, playing 3 years (-12.0)
  • Brandt Snedeker is 10 under, playing 1 year (-10.0)
  • Cameron Smith is 10 under, playing 1 year (-10.0)
  • Sergio Garcia is 29 under, playing 3 years (-9.7)
  • Tyrrell Hatton is 29 under, playing 3 years (-9.7)
  • Paul Casey is 26 under, playing 3 years (-8.7)
  • Tommy Fleetwood is 26 under, playing 3 years (-8.7)
  • Xander Schauffele is 14 under, playing 2 years (-7.0)
  • Charles Howell III is 7 under, playing 1 year (-7.0)
  • Rafael Cabrera-Bello is 20 under, playing 3 years (-6.7)
  • Jon Rahm is 17 under, playing 3 years (-5.7)
  • Francesco Molinari is 16 under, playing 3 years (-5.3)
  • Kevin Kisner is 14 under, playing 3 years (-4.7)
  • Bubba Watson is 13 under, playing 3 years (-4.3)
  • Hideki Matsuyama is 8 under, playing 2 years (-4.0)
  • Jorge Campillo is 4 under, playing 1 year (-4.0)
  • Jordan Spieth is 11 under, playing 3 years (-3.7)

Historical ParBreakers

Here is a look at those playing this week and who has made the most eagles and birdies:

So it makes sense that the top players on this list are guys that will make lot’s of points this week

DraftKings tips

It’s nice to be at an event with no cut.  This gives you a good chance to have all the players give us 72 holes, so remember the golden rule.  Be sure to pick those that will make lots of birdies and eagles, that will help your point total.

*Here are the guys that are very costly:
  • Rory McIlroy – $11,500
  • Dustin Johnson – $11,000
  • Justin Thomas – $11,800
  • Jon Rahm – $10,600
  • Hideki Matsuyama – $10,000
  • Webb Simpson- $9,800
  • Adam Scott – $9,600
  • Xander Schauffele – $9,400
  • Tommy Fleetwood – $9,200
  • Bryson DeChambeau – $9,000

With a short field and over a dozen guys that will probably struggle this week, the chances of you getting two top-guys are slim.  I would love to pick both Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson.  With $22,500 of your $50,000 used, that means you only have enough to average $6,875 a player.  So with the pickings slim in the under $7,000 category, picking either Johnson or McIlroy will be impossible in getting five other great players which would have to average about 7,700 a player.  With so many poor players under $7,000, it will be a stretch if you take either McIlroy or Johnson to pick anyone worth over $9,000.  So it’s very important to ask yourself, is picking McIlroy or Johnson that important?  Rory McIlroy is at $11,500 and I say he will contend on the back nine on Sunday.  He finished T-7th in 2017 and runner-up last year so yes he can play the course.  But in picking McIlroy or Johnson or Thomas you will need a victory to make it worthwhile.  Dustin Johnson at $11,000 is good, he has won twice at Club de Golf Chapultepec and was T-7th in 2017.  But again he has to win.  Justin Thomas at $11,800 is an easy answer, yes he was T-5th in 2017, lost to Phil Mickelson in a playoff in 2018 and was 9th last year.  But his game is not sharp now so I won’t pick him.  Jon Rahm at $10,600 is also a big no since he wasn’t that sharp at Riviera.  Hideki Matsuyama at $10,000 is a different story, despite not playing well in past events at Chapultepec, he has shown improvement this year and was T-5th at Riviera last week.  So he is a good pick.  Webb Simpson at $9,800 is not a good pick, he has always struggled at Club de Golf Chapultepec, was T-37th in 2018 and T-39th last year.  In 8 rounds has only been in the 60s once as he is 1 under in those 8 rounds.  Adam Scott at $9,600 is a big yes because he played well at Riviera and coming to a course with similar conditions and the fact that in 2016 he won back to back PGA Tour events in this and Honda, yes take him.  Xander Schauffele at $9,400 is a no.  In this event on this course was T-18th in 2018 and T-14th last year, he has never been consistent his 8 rounds range from a low of 65 to a high of 74.  The true reason to say no, he seems to be in a rot of late missing the cut at the Farmers, T-16th at the Phoenix and T-23rd at the Genesis.  Tommy Fleetwood at $9,200 is a toss-up pick.  Has gotten worst every time he plays at Club de Golf Chapultepec, was 2nd in 2017, T-14th in 2018 and T-19th last year finishing with rounds of 72-72.  But his game has been good of late so he is a maybe pick.  Last is Bryson DeChambeau at $9,000 and I say yes.   Was T-56th in his only start last year, did shot 69 in the final round.  I like that his game has gotten better of late, was T-5th at the Genesis shooting 69-69 over the weekend.

*Players in that $7,300 to $8,900 price range, which ones are worth the money?:

Lot’s of tough choices and we have to do well in this bunch of players. First Matt Kuchar at $8,900 is a tough choice, he has struggled on this course but also struggled in the past at Riviera and did well.  I say to take a jump at faith with him since his game should be good for Club de Golf Chapultepec.  Next up is Paul Casey at $8,700 and many will say he is worth it.  I say no, has improved every time he plays at Club de Golf Chapultepec, was T-16th in 2017, T-12th in 2018 and T-3rd last year finishing with rounds of 65-65.  But has struggled in the last month, was T-64th at Pebble and T-37th at Genesis.  Now Sergio Garcia at $8,600 is a good choice.  Has played well at Club de Golf Chapultepec finishing T-12th, T-7th and T-6th, in 12 rounds has not been over par and is 29 under in those 12 rounds. He has been pretty solid in his last four events finishing T-8th at Abu Dhabi and T-6th at Saudi International.  At Riviera after shooting 70-70 shot 71-72 over the weekend.  I have to say that Bubba Watson at $8,200 could work.  I was stunned last week picking him at Riviera and he missed the cut.  Still, his game has been sharp and Watson has had good moments so he is worth the price.  Brandt Snedeker at $7,700 is a good price but a gamble.  He was good the only time he played the course finishing T-7th in 2017 but he missed the cut in Phoenix and Pebble which has me worried.  Rafael Cabrera-Bello at $7,600 is worth the gamble since he has done ok at Chapultepec and was T-17th at the Genesis last week.  Graeme McDowell at $7,500 is also a gamble, he has never played at Club de Golf Chapultepec but has played well of late.  Tyrrell Hatton at $7,400 is also a good buy, Has played all three years at Club de Golf Chapultepec, 10th in 2017, T-3rd in 2018 and T-19th last year in 12 rounds has only been over par once, a very good sleeper pick

Are there any “Bargains” out there?

It’s really important to find two or three good players under $7,300.  My first choice is Kevin Kisner at $7,200, he has had some good rounds at Chapultepec and been ok on the PGA Tour.  Robert MacIntyre at $7,200 is also worth the gamble, playing in this event for the first time, he has played well on the European Tour and it can carry over to this week.  The same with Danny Willett at $7,000 and Lee Westwood at $6,900 they are good enough to get you points.  Christiaan Bezuidenhout is a rookie but cheap at $6,900 and has played well of late in Europe.  Justin Harding is a rookie and if you need that rock-solid cheap guy at $6,200 he will get you points, has played ok over in Europe.  My last dark-horse is Japanese Ryo Ishikawa at $6,100.  He played for a while on the PGA Tour when he was young and had no success, but has been strong in Japan and would like to make a splash again on the PGA Tour, this could be the week.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the WGC-Mexico Championship

The key stat for the winner:

Lots of patient in learning the course, it’s the fourth time it’s being played but still takes some experience to do well on it.  Since the greens have poa in them, look for putting to be tough, especially if the sun is out all day and the greens started growing inconsistently which will make them bumpy.  But it will take some time for local knowledge to set in and the players learn the course

Here are some more key stats to look for this week:
  • Solid shotmakers, this course has some of the same traits as Riviera, it was built around the same period and looks a lot like it.  Since most of the players in the field don’t play in the Barracuda Championship, the altitude adjustment will be tricky.  At close to 8,000 feet the ball will not only carry further, but the ball won’t spin as much making it not only harder to curve, but harder to hold the greens.  The course will be dry from a lack of rain, but Kikuyu fairways will be soft and not have much run in them.
  • In looking at the long-range weather for the week all four days will be perfect, in the high 70s with no rain and very low humidity. 
  • As with Riviera, any Poa annua will make the greens very hard to judge and putt.  So look for the good putters to do well.
  • All three Par 5s aren’t a pushover, it will be interesting to see if they are reachable. The 6th and 11th are over 620 yards, while the 15th is 575 but the fairways have a lot of twists that will make them hard to position the ball.
  • The par 3s will also play hard, look for the winner to be right around par for the four holes.  Of the 72 players in the field last year, only four of them were two under par or better on the par 3s while winner Dustin Johnson was 1 under.
  • In looking at the par 4s, four of them play under 400 yards, but even with the ball carrying in the higher elevation none of the short holes are driveable since they are all protected with lots of big trees. Last year Dustin Johnson played the par 4s in 13 under, the lowest anyone has played them in the three years the course has been used.
  • Last but not least results of this event before 2017 is meaningless.  Not only is the course different (Doral) but the region and conditions are different meaning that past history means nothing.  So you have to not only figuring out just the last three years of the championship, but also the last seven weeks on the PGA and European Tours.

Who to watch for at the WGC – Mexico Championship

Best Bets:

Rory McIlroy

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
2 T7 T3 T9 T25 T8 3 T10 T65 T20

Still think he is the best player out on tour right now, would love to see him play better in the final round. But his game is perfect for Club de Golf Chapultepec since he is 1st in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green, T-29th in Greens in Regulation, 2nd in Par Breakers.

Dustin Johnson

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
Win T7 Win T14 Win T4 T12 T35 2 T56 T35

Give him the nod since he seems to play the best at Club de Golf Chapultepec. In 12 rounds have been in the 60s 11 times as he is 47 under par best of anyone. But his game may not be sharp enough to withstand four days and bring home the victory, still you know he will give you a top-five this week.

Adam Scott

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T45 Win T4 T25 T3 T13 T6 T50 T66 T9

Was very impressive at Riviera last week, feel he can win twice in a row since he did the same thing in 2016 winning the WGC-Mexico in Doral and then at the Honda.

Best of the rest:

Hideki Matsuyama

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T19 T25 T35 T23 T34

This guy could be the big surprise of the week, he is still very underrated. Has not played great in his two starts at Club de Golf Chapultepec, finishing T-25th in 2017 and T-19th in 2019. Still think the course will be perfect for his shotmaking style of play and on the PGA Tour the last month has shown steady improvement including a T-5th at Riviera.

Bryson DeChambeau

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T56

Was T-56th in his only start last year, did shot 69 in the final round, his game has gotten better of late, was T-5th at the Genesis shooting 69-69 over the weekend.

Justin Thomas

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
9 2 T5 T35

Been solid at Club de Golf Chapultepec, was T-5th, 2nd, and 9th last year, in 12 rounds been over par twice and is 36 under in those 12 rounds. Still worried about him missing the cut last week at Riviera.

Sergio Garcia

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T6 T7 T12 T11 T31 T16 T3 T60 T37 T31 T15

Has played well at Club de Golf Chapultepec finishing T-12th, T-7th and T-6th, in 12 rounds has not been over par and is 29 under in those 12 rounds.

Jon Rahm

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T45 T20 T3

Played well in his first start at Club de Golf Chapultepec finsihing T-3rd, since was T-20th in 2018 and T-45th last year.

Solid contenders

Tommy Fleetwood

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T19 T14 2 T71

Has gotten worst every time he plays at Club de Golf Chapultepec, was 2nd in 2017, T-14th in 2018 and T-19th last year finishing with rounds of 72-72. But his game is always solid and he has played well in the far east.

Tyrrell Hatton

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T19 T3 10

Has played all three years at Club de Golf Chapultepec, 10th in 2017, T-3rd in 2018 and T-19th last year in 12 rounds has only been over par once, a very good sleeper pick.  Yes it’s the first event back since his wrist surgery in November, but if he could win Turkey with a bad wrist, just think how good he will be with a healthy wrist.

Matt Kuchar

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
50 T58 T20 T28 T23 T13 T35 T8 5 T3

Has been terrible at Club de Golf Chapultepec, finishing T-20th, T-58th and 50th. He has only shot in the 60s three times in 12 rounds, he is 5 over for his three starts. But he also played terrible at Riviera in the past until he finished 2nd last week.

Long shots that could come through:

Ryo Ishikawa

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T42

A rookie in this events, he has played well on the Japan Golf Tour, he won three times since June. Played on the PGA Tour in 2013 and fell flat which was a big shock to him, since then he has played in Japan and won seven times.

Ross Fisher

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T46 T3 T42 T23 T61 T45 T46 T34

Was T-3rd in 2017 and T-46th in 2018 at Club de Golf Chapultepec, in 8 rounds have been in the 60s five times. Hasn’t played bad this year, T-6th at Abu Dhabi and Saudi International did miss cut in Dubai.

Daniel Berger

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T14 T16 T28

Was T-16th in 2017 and T-14th in 2018 at Club de Golf Chapultepec, more importantly, is 14 under in those 8 rounds. In his last two starts, was T-9th at Phoenix, T-5th at AT&T Pebble, in his last 16 rounds on the PGA Tour going back to Sony Open has not shot a round over par and is 36 under par.

Have my doubts about them this week:

Webb Simpson

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T39 T37 T7 T47 T20 T35

Has always struggled at Club de Golf Chapultepec, was T-37th in 2018 and T-39th last year. In 8 rounds has only been in the 60s once as he is 1 under in those 8 rounds. Yes, he won in his last start in Phoenix, but that was a drastically different course than this week.

Paul Casey

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T3 T12 T16 7 T38 T51 T18 T6 T31 T51

Has improved every time he plays at Club de Golf Chapultepec, was T-16th in 2017, T-12th in 2018 and T-3rd last year finishing with rounds of 65-65, but his game has been dreadful of late, T-64th at Pebble and T-37th at Genesis.

Xander Schauffele

2020 ’19 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08
T14 T18

Was T-18th in 2018 and T-14th last year, he has never been consistent his 8 rounds range from a low of 65 to a high of 74. Still don’t think he will play terrible, his game is close as he is 2nd in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green, and 11th in Greens in Regulation. But he has struggled with the putter, but that can come back at any time.

Comments

  1. foxmh3@gmail.com says:

    Shocking he again list top to chalk as his best bets and then follows with the next 10 hottest players. Would rather see you put yourself out there and only give three picks and get them wrong versus giving us 20 players to choose from. #refund

  2. A bit confused by the post, you say I am picking the ten hottest players and should only pick three. Last week I had Adam Scott in my top-six and he wasn’t a hot player since he hadn’t played in two months. So I am a bit confused about what you are trying to tell us with that post???

  3. One other thing, these are nothing but my picks, they will be different than anybody else’s. What we are trying to do is give you information, which I think we have accomplished, on who through stats and past results could play well on this certain course that favors certain players. So frankly my picks shouldn’t matter, because we have given you a wealth of information that can’t be found on other sites.

  4. Great articles as always.

    Any concern with Hatton being OOC since November and this being his first event since his wrist surgery in November? If this wasn’t a WGC event I have to wonder if he would be teeing it up.

  5. He won’t win but I still think he will play great this week. Has had enough time off that the wrist isn’t a problem. Think of it this way, if he could win in Turkey with the bad wrist, just think how good he will be now that it is fixed.

  6. Sal agreed…your data and info are great!! I really liked Adam Scott last week too, but unfortunately ended up going with JT. Bummer.

  7. tony.lessel@gmail.com says:

    Horses, key stats, and boss of the moss are the three go to information I use when placing all my matchup bets. Keep it up!

  8. davcnels@gmail.com says:

    No love for Abraham Ancer this week? He’s had a very good season and is from Mexico which could rally the crowd around him.

  9. Mr. Nelson it’s not that I am not showing love for Abraham, just don’t think the course suits him. In his 8 rounds around Club de Golf Chapultepec he has broken 70 once, a 69 in 218. On top of that, he has never played well at Riviera which means that maybe this style of course isn’t good for him. Now I will be very interested in Abraham on the Florida stretch because he has played well in 2020 (four top-tens in his last six starts) and will only get better. But for this week have very little faith in him.

  10. tmoore@goldenocala.com says:

    Sal,
    I think the first comment is from someone who is wanting the million dollar pick. It is obvious he doesn’t have an understanding of this forum. Great info last week with Scott, that worked out well on my end.
    Keep up the good info.

  11. Thanks tmoore, I understand that some people don’t understand the value of the stuff that’s on this site. I just do picks for the fun of it, just like I usually will get between four and seven teams on Draftkings each week. In Drafkings just trying to get into the money each week and pay me back for what I put in with a little bit of a profit.

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