It’s time for the first World Golf Championship event of 2019 and it looks like the field is going to be packed with a large number of players that can pull out a win. But, oddsmakers have a handful of clear favorites when it comes to winning in Naucalpan, Mexico at the Club de Golf Chapultepec. The course sits outside of Mexico City and Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson top the favorites list as both are at +1000 to win outright.

But, don’t think that Johnson and Thomas are clear favorites as they are trailed closely by a cluster of players that can win at the high-altitude course. And, this is a non-cut event with the field set at 72 players. So, everyone that’s playing in the WGC – Mexico is there because they are good and a threat to win. But, to do so there are some big names they would have to get past. Here are the top-ten favorites through +2800 according to Intertops.

 

Justin Thomas+1000
Dustin Johnson+1000
Rory McIlroy+1100
Jon Rahm+1400
Bryson Dechambeau+1600
Rickie Fowler+1800
Tiger Woods+2000
Brooks Koepka+2000
Xander Schauffele+2500
Phil Mickelson+2800


As you can see, it’s a virtual list of PGA winners and Ryder Cup Players. Thomas and Johnson will probably be at the top of any favorites list for much of the 2019 season. The players to watch are Bryson Dechambeau, Rickie Fowler and of course Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. All are playing well and have started off the new season well. Especially Mickelson as the Lefty notched a win at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am only two weeks ago.


Golf Glance: WGC-Mexico Championship


Are there too Many Good Players to Pick?

This is a different tournament than normally played on the PGA Tour. There’s no cut and it’s a select group of players taking part in the event. As stated above, the field for the four WGC events is loaded with winners and great players starting with the top-fifty players according to the Official World Golf Rankings. Here’s how the field is set for WGC events.

•    Top 50 players from the Official World Golf Rankings.
•    Top players from member tours' money lists or orders of merit.
•    Top 30 PGA Tour FedEx Cup list / also top 10 from one week prior
•    Top 20 European Tour.
•    Top 2 each from Asian Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA Tour of Australasia, and Sunshine Tour.
•    The field is capped at 72 players.

Now the question is how do you make your picks? The field is ripe with players that can snatch a win but I think that’s over-thinking the situation. Approach the WGC- Mexico as you would any other tournament. Now you just don’t have to worry about a cut list. For me, stats and past play are the way to start.

Most Recent Past Winners

This may be a stat that you take into consideration for a normal Tour event that is returning to the same course. However, the WGC – Mexico has been played over several courses. The good news is that since 2017 it’s been played at the Club de Golf Chapultepec. That means Mickelson and Johnson are the most immediate winners. The wins by Adam Scott and Patrick Reed came at the Trump National Doral. Here are the past five winners.

 

2018Phil Mickelson
2017Dustin Johnson
2016Adam Scott
2015Dustin Johnson
2014Patrick Reed


Once you get past Johnson’s 2017 win every other past winner is placed into a gray area because they are not coming back to the same course. However, a win on the PGA Schedule is still a win. Now, factor in wins during WGC events. Here are active players with multiple WGC wins.

 

Tiger Woods18
Dustin Johnson 5
Phil Mickelson 3
Hideki Matsuyama2
Rory McIlroy 2
Bubba Watson 2


Club de Golf Chapultepec by the Numbers

Club de Golf Chapultepec is located outside of Mexico City at 7,800 feet above sea level which turns the 7,345-yard course into a shorter 6,500 to 6,700 venue. That will force players to reconsider their choice of clubs off the tee and on their approach shots. In fact, some players are already talking about that including Johnson.

“So there are some holes where I can get it down there and take advantage of my length,” Johnson said about club selection at Club de Golf Chapultepec. “But a lot of times – (I’m) just hitting irons, trying to place it in one side or the other in the fairway.”



The course makes full use of the natural surroundings and rolling terrain. The fairways can be narrow and are packed with trees on both sides. At first glance, you may think Club de Golf Chapultepec is located somewhere in Georgia or Tennessee due to the lush growth. Some portions have a Masters feel to them as water and bunkers come into play with an abundance of blooming flowers.

Now that everything sounds simple along comes the hard part. Club de Golf Chapultepec has tricky greens. Players forced into three-putt situations are common. The greens have limited safe landing areas with poa annua grass. Watch for several three putts scattered among the birdies and a few eagles.

Founded: 1921
Designer: Willie Smith & brother Alex Smith    
Yardage: 7,345 – plays shorter
Par: 71
Rating: 70.0
Slope: 110
Greens: Poa annua grass.


PGA Tour contemplating cut to top 65 and ties


TV Coverage for 2019 WGC - Mexico

Rounds 1-2

•    Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 2-7 p.m. ET
•    Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 2-7 p.m. ET
•    Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, Noon-2:30 p.m. ET; NBC, 2:30-6 p.m. ET
•    Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, Noon-1:30 p.m. ET; NBC, 1:30-6 p.m. ET
•    Live stream: via www.golfchannel.com and PGA Tour Live
•    Featured groups and holes available on PGA Tour Live.

Remaining odds for 2019 WGC - Mexico

Odds following players listed above.

 

Hideki Matsuyama+2800
Marc Leishman+3000
Tony Finau+3000
Paul Casey+3300
Jordan Spieth+3300
Bubba Watson+3300
Gary Woodland+3300
Webb Simpson+3300
Tommy Fleetwood+3300
Patrick Cantlay+3500
Sergio Garcia+4000
Rafael Cabrera Bello+5000
Patrick Reed+5000
Matt Kuchar+5000
Charles Howell III+5000
Francesco Molinari+5000
Ian Poulter+5000
HaoTong Li+5000
Cameron Smith+6000
Tyrrell Hatton+6000
Louis Oosthuizen+6600
Henrik Stenson+6600
Byeong-Hun An+6600
Matt Wallace+7500
Shane Lowry+7500
Billy Horschel+7500
Matthew Fitzpatrick+7500
Lee Westwood+8000
Joost Luiten+8000
Russell Knox+8000
Emiliano Grillo+8000
Alex Noren+8000
Brandt Snedeker+10000
Thorbjorn Olesen+10000
Keegan Bradley+10000
Chez Reavie+10000
Branden Grace+10000
Kevin Kisner+10000
Abraham Ancer+12500
Kevin Na+12500
Tom Lewis+12500
Danny Willett+12500
Andrew Putnam+15000
Aaron Wise+15000
Patton Kizzire+15000
Eddie Pepperell+15000
Kiradech Aphibarnrat+15000
Lucas Bjerregaard+15000
Aaron Rai+15000
Alexander Bjork+15000
Shubhankar Sharma+17500
Richard Sterne+20000
Kyle Stanley+20000
Shugo Imahira+25000
David Lipsky+25000
Erik Van Rooyen+30000
George Coetzee+30000
Matthew Millar+40000
Shaun Norris+40000
Sang-Hyun Park+40000
Jake McLeod+40000

 

 

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