PGA Preview - WGC Mexico Championship, Odds, TV Schedule
by Kent Whitaker Scores & Statson
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
• 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.