WGC-Mexico Championship Recap

03-06-17

His first week at No. 1 in the world.

#WinnerWinner

Dustin Johnson fired a closing round 68 to finish 14-under par to win the inaugural World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship in Mexico City. Englishman Tommy Fleetwood finished alone in second two shots back. Young Spanish sensation Jon Rahm and Englishman Ross Fisher completed the podium on 11-under.

 

Key Moment(s):

  • After back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 12 and 13, Johnson played the last five holes bogey-free at one-under par.
  • With his ball below his feet in a fairway bunker on the final hole, DJ showed his class by sticking his approach to 18 feet for a simple two-putt par to clinch his victory.

 

Scorecard:

  • 22 birdies were T-3 on the week.
  • Made only three bogeys on the weekend.
  • Led the field approaching the green and tee to green.
  • Leads the Tour in both of those categories as well.
  • He missed 16 putts within 10 feet and still won comfortably. #BallsStruck.
  • Pelted 52 of 72 GIR (T-5) while only finding 33 of 56 fairways (T-49). Greens > fairways.
  • Even though he gave away a few he was still T-5 in PPGIR.

 

 

Past history at Club de Golf Chapultepec:

  • Just like everyone else, he was making his maiden voyage.

 

 

Fantasy Forecast:

 

  • Of the last nine WGC events, he’s won three of them.
  • He’s now won four WGC events since 2013.
  • His four WGC wins are second to only Tiger Woods (18).
  • His 14th win was his second consecutive this season (Riviera).
  • His worst start when making the cut from six events in 2017 is T-6.
  • His only MC was paired with Woods and Jason Day at Torrey Pines.
  • For those of you who haven’t burned him yet in OAD, don’t worry. There are four majors, two more WGC events and four Playoff events at worst to use him.
  • The challenge of how he would react playing at No. 1 in the world for the first time was answered without question.

 

 

With this win:

 

  • Collects $1,660,000.
  • 550 FEC points
  • Retains his No. 1 world ranking.
  • Now ranked third in the FedExCup standings.

 

 

WGC-MC Hindsight:

Trends and stats from the week for next week and next year

 

  • Johnson’s 14-under is the tournament record.
  • Jordan Spieth’s 63 from Saturday is the event course record.
  • Event champion Adam Scott figured it out too late as his 68-68 weekend saw him finish T-45 in a 76-man field.
  • Only five players posted all four rounds at 70 or better.
  • Thomas Pieters was the only player to post all four rounds in the 60’s.
  • There were only five, bogey-free rounds on the week.

 

 

The elevation played a part as did the small-ish Poa annua greens. The weather was very nice and wind didn’t factor on any of the days. I learned, and DJ and McIlroy among others will confirm, that putting near the hole was tricky. The course favored those who could overpower the layout but there was also a route for the thinking man. With 72 holes mapped and charted, the players next year should have a leg up on the first-timers. This course will host this event until 2023.

 

 

Scorecard: 

A look inside the rest of the top 10.

 

Tommy Fleetwood (2nd): His win at Abu Dhabi saw him hold off Dustin Johnson who finished T-2. The Englishman followed that win up with back-to-back MCs in the desert the next two weeks. His win and solo second are his two best finishes anywhere in the world since calendar 2014. Gamers will remember his QF loss in San Francisco in WGC-Dell Match Play to Danny Willett but not much else on this side of the pond. With his solo second he’ll need just four more FEC points to attain Special Temporary Status. Gamers with drop-and-add leagues need to be aware. Fleetwood is going to make his money tee-to-green as he was fifth in fairways and T-5 GIR.

 

Ross Fisher (T-3): His previous three events in 2017 resulted in T-19, MC and MC so he wasn’t on my heat map. He’s now posted top 10’s in three of his last four starts in WGC with a pair of top 10’s the last two years at WGC-HSBC Champions. His last win anywhere was 2014 at the event opposite of this one, the Tshwane Open.  Write down Dean Burmester for a top finish in Mexico next year! Fisher hits it a mile and seven of his last 10 worldwide starts are in the top 25 and that includes four top 10’s.

 

Jon Rahm (T-3): He sat No. 11 in my preview and it turns out that wasn’t enough respect. It won’t happen again, I promise. The kid has now rattled off WIN, T-16, T-5 and T-3 in his last four starts on Tour. He finds a way to get the ball in the hole and is absolutely fearless. He’s the exception, not the rule, and gamers needs to embrace that stance until he changes our collective minds. Tim Mickelson didn’t quit his job as ASU golf coach on a hunch. That should have told us everything we needed to know.

 

Thomas Pieters (T-5): He only made six bogeys on the week finished inside the top five in Strokes Gained: Approach and Tee To Green and was the only player to put all four rounds in the 60’s. He has hit the top five in five of his last 14 starts worldwide including two of his last three. For those of you who bought into the Riviera angle this week, the champ and runner up at that event both hit the top five this week. He didn’t look phased after MC at Honda last week! The new studs have short memories! The next step will be accepting Special Temporary Membership and deciding how much he’ll be playing in the States.

 

Justin Thomas (T-5): His fantastic 2016-17 season continues to roll on. He also didn’t seemed bothered by MC last week at Honda and like Pieters he finished T-5. The 54-hole leader hit it all over the shop on the front Sunday but rallied for 34 on the back to cash a big check. Keeping his cool on the back nine saw him break a streak of MC, T-39 and MC after back-to-back wins to start 2017. He led the field with 24 birdies.

 

Brandt Snedeker (T-7): He played the final three rounds 14-under-par but his opening round 75 dug the hole too deep. Gamers who invested this week should remember THAT instead of his failing to get up-and-down on the final hole. He was dead after Thursday but he found enough GIR to make 19 birdies in those final three rounds. In six events in 2017, four have gone for T-14 or better including top 10’s in three of the last four.

 

Phil Mickelson (T-7): You win, Phil. You’ve made me give up. I’m going to officially retire you from fantasy golf in my world just so I can sit back and admire your genius without having any financial interest! Gamers who know how to look up his scorecards will see what I’m talking about. He hasn’t won since 2013 and some of his final rounds this year have hit incredible highs and even lower lows. I can’t take the heat. I’ll just sit here and giggle when you’re hitting recovery shot after recovery shot. This was his first top 10 since closing bogey-free 67 at Silverado to start the new season.

 

Rory McIlroy (T-7): He struggled on the greens and off the tee but showed no signs of the rib problem which sidelined him to start the year.  He’s a top 10 machine with 16 from his last 24 worldwide starts so fire away.

 

Tyrrell Hatton (10th): His excellent run of form knows no boundaries as the Englishman stuck all four rounds at 70 or better. His last 10 events worldwide are all T-25 or better and that includes seven top 10’s. His all-around steady game leans on the putter but he was also in the top third off the tee and into the greens. He’s currently 100 or so points off Special Temporary Membership but he will get starts. He’s currently a career-best No. 17 in the OWGR at WGC-Dell Match Play plus the majors, THE PLAYERS and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

 

Eyes Open:

Players outside the top 10 who have caught my eyes in a positive way.

 

Kevin Kisner (11th): He’s played every weekend to start 2017 and has placed three of his five finishes 11th or better.

 

Sergio Garcia (T-12): Very solid again after his T-14 last week at Honda suggests he’s in a excellent place currently.

 

Paul Casey (T-16): His 67-66 weekend was one of the best and he’ll quietly trending in the right direction.

 

Daniel Berger (T-16): He joins the group of youngsters who MC last week at Honda and bounced nicely back against even a deeper field on a course they’ve never played.

 

Rickie Fowler (T-16): His final round 67 counts just as much as his 73 in round three but he salvaged 14 spots for the gamers hoping he would back up his win at Honda with another big finish.

 

 

“Whatever happened to…?”

 

Justin Rose (T-38): And he led the field in Strokes Gained Tee to Green…

 

Henrik Stenson (WD): Made it 11 holes before “The Tourista” got him; you can’t make it up!

 

Adam Scott (T-45): Another who was late to the party as not even his weekend 68-68 could wipe out his tremendously slow start.

 

Jordan Spieth (T-12): His only round in the 60’s set the event course record as noted above. His last finish outside the top 30 was at last year’s U.S. Open. His last MC was THE PLAYERS last spring. #ChooChoo.

 

Gary Woodland (T-38): Say it again with me: The weeks I rate him, FADE HIM. The weeks I have him on the fringes, BET YOUR CHILDREN!

 

Hideki Matsuyama (T-25): Only one round under par for the week as he struggled with the greens; MC at Riviera and T-33 so maybe Poa is his kryptonite?

 

Brendan Steele (T-48): I wouldn’t have thought he’d finish T-64 in GIR of 76 players. He did. He only made 11 birdies as well.

 

Alex Noren (T-55): Maybe the Qatar-Perth-Mexico City trifecta wasn’t the best plan of attack; T-55 included 69 on Sunday.

 

Louis Oosthuizen (T-48): He squared 15 bogeys and a double to only 13 birdies. Not much went the way he needed in Mexico. Rough.

 

 

 

Stay Tuned:

Keep up @MikeGlasscott and mikeglasscott.com for more details. Tomorrow, I’ll preview the WGC-Mexico Championship and Wednesday I’ll post my gaming column.

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