The Confidence Factor: Horses for Courses WGC – Mexico Championship

Third year running in Mexico City after a long run at Doral.

–UPDATED WITH PICKS–

This fella seems to play well where ever he tees it up and should be in your plans again this week.

Click here for all the details!

 

World Golf Championships – Mexico Championship

Club de Golf Chapultepec

Mexico City

Club de Golf Chapultepec Cheat Sheet

Yards (per official scorecard): 7,345
Par: 71 (35-36)
Greens: Poa annua/Creeping Bent
Stimpmeter: 11.5′ maximum
Rough: Kikuyugrass at 2″
Architect(s): Willie Smith (1921)
Purse: $10.25 million; $1.745 million, 550 FedExCup points (winner).
Defending Champion: Phil Mickelson, -16.
Notes: 72 players, No Cut.
Notes II: 46 of the top 50 OWGR playing (No Day, Scott, Rose or Holmes).

History Lessons

Previous Winners (since 2012):

Year Winner Score Comment
       
2018 Phil Mickelson -16 Defeated Justin Thomas in a playoff.
2017 Dustin Johnson -14 Thomas held the 54-hole lead but Johnson came from behind to win.

Recent History Lessons

2018-19 Winners

Event Winner
   
Safeway Open Kevin Tway**
CIMB Classic Marc Leishman
CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES Brooks Koepka
Sanderson Farms Championship Cameron Champ**
WGC-HSBC Champions Xander Schauffele
Shriners Hospitals for Children Bryson DeChambeau
Mayakoba Golf Classic Matt Kuchar
The RSM Classic Charles Howell III
Hero World Challenge* Jon Rahm
Sentry TOC Xander Schauffele (2)
Sony Open in Hawaii Matt Kuchar (2)
60th Desert Classic Adam Long**
Farmers Insurance Open Justin Rose
Waste Management Rickie Fowler
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Phil Mickelson
Genesis Open J.B. Holmes

(* unofficial event; **First-time winner)

 

Facts and Figures:

With only two editions on the books, this next section will be quick.

Tournament Record: 268 (-16); Lanny Wadkins, 1985.
Course Records: 62; Justin Thomas, Round 3 (2018).
Recent Defending Champion(s): n/a
Multiple Winners (WGC) Woods 18, Johnson 5 and Mickelson 3.
First TOUR Win (last decade): Shane Lowry (WGC-BI), Russell Knox (WGC-HSBC).
First-time in the field: Russell Knox (WGC-HSBC).
Low Round 2018: 62; Thomas Round 3.
Odd Fact: There have been exactly zero rookie winners.

Inside the ropes

Club de Golf Chapultepec is at altitude. Did you know that? Ball-strikers will have the advantage with just two years of knowledge on the greens. The two winners are West Coast bent/poa masters with plenty of experience.

Trend or Not a Trend?

Stats 2018 2017
  Phil Mickelson Dustin Johnson
Winning Score -16 -14
     
Distance of All Drives T16 17
Driving Accuracy T53 T49
Greens in Regulation T25 T5
Ball-Striking 46 7
Proximity to the Hole 39 1
Putting: Birdie-or-Better % 2 2
SG: Off-the-Tee 19 27
SG: Approach-the-Green 12 1
SG: Around-the-Green 22 9
SG: Putting 3 21
SG: Tee-to-Green 12 1
Scrambling 2 14
Bogey Avoidance T1 T11
Par-3 Scoring T4 T23
Par-4 Scoring T7 T7
Par-5 Scoring T8 1
Par Breakers 2nd 2nd

Course Form

Player    
  2018 2017
     
Phil Mickelson Win T7
Justin Thomas P2 T5
Rafa Cabrera Bello T3 T38
Tyrrell Hatton T3 T10
Kiradech Aphibarnrat T5  
Dustin Johnson T7 WIN
Sergio Garcia T7 T12
Shubhankar Sharma T9  
Bubba Watson T9 T38
Paul Casey T12 T16
Patton Kizzire T12  
Tommy Fleetwood T14 2nd
Alex Noren T14 T55
Jordan Spieth T14 T12
Xander Schauffele T18  
Jon Rahm T20 T3
Francesco Molinari T25 T20
Kyle Stanley T25  
Tony Finau T27  
Kevin Kisner 29th 11th
Louis Oosthuizen T30 T48
Patrick Cantlay T30  
Branden Grace T30 T32
Rickie Fowler T37 T16
Marc Leishman T37  
Joost Luiten T37 T25
Patrick Reed T37 T61
Webb Simpson T37  
David Lipsky T48 T63
Gary Woodland T50 T38
Abraham Ancer T52  
Chez Reavie T52  
Satoshi Kodaira 54th  
Matt Kuchar T58 T20
Haotong Li 63rd  
     
2018 DNS   2017
     
Rory McIlroy   T7
Hideki Matsuyama   T25
Lee Westwood   T28
Byeong-Hun An   T48
Brooks Koepka   T48
Emiliano Grillo   T52
Kevin Na   T52
Thorbjorn Olesen   T63
Danny Willett   69th
Russell Knox   70th
Richard Sterne   T72

Chalk

Justin Thomas: Playing from the final group in his last two starts combined with two almost-wins here, he’s the easy front-runner this week.

Dustin Johnson: 2017 champ won’t have to worry about weather delays this week and should get back into a normal rhythm.  A bad week for him is a great week for the other 95%.

Rory McIlroy: If it’s tee-to-green that’s the requirement he moves up. Nothing outside T5 in three tries in 2019.

Phil Mickelson: He silenced the doubters after winning at Pebble Beach following a MC in Scottsdale. I wasn’t terribly surprised that the gas tank wasn’t full last week so I’m expecting the bounce back this week.

Jon Rahm: With five starts resulting in five top-10 paychecks in 2019 and a victory in his final start of 2018, I’m not passing this week.

Rickie Fowler: Entering the week off a victory in his last start (WMPO), he’ll look to make the leap in his third start in Mexico City.

Tiger Woods: Great tweet earlier in the week showed that Woods hit the top five in all three “new” venues he played last year. He showed enough flashes at Riviera to suggest that continues again at this new venue.

Xander Schauffele: He’ll look to pick up back-to-back WGC victories as he won the first at WGC-HSBC Champions earlier this season.

Gary Woodland: As with most on this list, overpowering this course shouldn’t be a problem plus he’s won at altitude (Montreux) before.

Tyrrell Hatton: I’ve pushed him up on his course form as he’s 24-under in his two trips with nothing worse than 70.

Paul Casey: A pair of second-place finishes to start 2019 outweighs his short-week T25 last week at Riviera. A pair of solid finishes (T16, T12) in two trips suggests he’s comfortable with the layout.

Tommy Fleetwood: If he gets off to a decent start I’ll be regretting slotting him in here. He’s had four events to get the kinks out and was runner-up here in 2017.

Bryson DeChambeau: His worst round in 2019 is 71 and hasn’t had any problems adapting to new tracks in his young career.

Hideki Matsuyama: Last two times on Poa T3 at Farmers and T9 at Riviera, both with closing rounds of 67.

Ian Poulter: Lit up the Middle East with T6 or better in three starts. In an event where form trumps course history, the Englishman qualifies.

Marc Leishman: I wish the breeze was up this week again but his recent form is outrageous in the new season.

Jordan Spieth: His tenure in Mexico City resembles his current season. A few good ones and a few “others”. His last six here are 16-under so he gets the benefit of the doubt.

Supporting Actors

Rafa Cabrera Bello: Even in his first trip in 2017 he posted 15-under last time to share third. A pair of top-25 paydays from California follows him southbound.

Brooks Koepka: Mixed results in the Middle East (T57, T9) after T24 in Maui gives me pause but I’m not dismissing him.

Tony Finau: He hasn’t put four solid ones together just yet but noticed the 66-68 to open last week.

Francesco Molinari: First start anywhere since Sentry TOC.

Emiliano Grillo: Steady through the bag and there won’t be many paying attention.

Cameron Smith: Sitting inside the top 10 in SG: ATT, that and his short game should make him a quick study.

Patrick Reed: Mickelson showed him the blueprint around the greens if he’s loose tee-to-green.

Patrick Cantlay: Too many good ones in the last four months to ignore. Figured it out too late last year with 66 on Sunday.

 

Coming in HAWT

Long Shots, Course Horses, Wings, Prayers

Sergio Garcia: Went about his business last week and has a tasty record here.

Webb Simpson: Great form but I’m not in love with him on Poa.

Lee Westwood: If his GAS tank is full, he has been known to split a few fairways and paint a few GIR. Won in South Africa in November and has three other top-20 finishes worldwide since.

Henrik Stenson: Mr. 3-Wood should enjoy Mexico if he keeps away from the “tourista”. Swede hasn’t made a cut in three tries in 2019.

Abraham Ancer: Big pressure being the local favorite and bigger pressure playing in Woods’ group the first two days. Pass.

Bubba Watson: Started seven-under thru his first 11 holes last year and cashed T9 on 10-under. So there were other things as well. So yeah.

Matt Kuchar: With the fiasco behind him, I’d think he’ll be more than happy to golf his ball in peace and quiet this week. I’d be more confident if this was Bermuda.

Matt Wallace: Won twice in Europe on courses that require more than decent ball-striking. He’s 37th in the world so he shouldn’t be sneaking up on anyone.

Byeong-Hun An: Late entry playing with house money and excels from tee-to-green.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat: His T5 last year will grab attention. His MC, MC, T33 and MC in his last four starts should grab more.

Russell Knox: Enters the week on T10 and T14 LTO at Pebble Beach and didn’t have to suffer thru the weather and delays AGAIN last week. His life changed when he played his first one in Shanghai in 2015.

 

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out on Twitter (@MikeGlasscott) or email me mikeglasscott@gmail.com.

 

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