20th - 23rd February
The WGC Mexico is the first of four WGC events scheduled for 2020 and it takes place at the Club de Golf Chapultepec where players will battle it out for a purse of $10.5 Million and lots of FedEx Cup, Ryder Cup, and world ranking points.
The PGA Tour decided to move this event to Mexico in 2017, so this will be the fourth edition. It was a move that didn’t please American President Donald Trump at the time but it’s one that received an excellent reception from most of the world’s best players.
The Club de Golf Chapultepec, Mexico City, Mexico isn’t the longest of courses at just over 7,300 yards but the way this Par 71 is set up had tended to suit the longer hitters, with Dustin Johnson (2017 & 2019) and Phil Mickelson (2018) winning the three editions between them.
Plenty of other big names have also come to the fore, including last year’s runner-up Rory McIlroy, whilst Justin Thomas has yet to finish worse than ninth in the first three editions.
Club de Golf Chapultepec was established in 1928 and was the brainchild of Willie and Alex Smith. Tree-lined fairways and Poa annua greens means players that played at last week’s Genesis Invitational in similar conditions should have had a nice warm-up for this week.
The bookies look sure to take plenty of money near the head of the market this week after the way Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy dominated the 2019 WGC Mexico. Dustin Johnson won by five shots last year, and runner-up McIlroy was a further five shots clear of the chasing pack.
Both also come here in decent nick, with Johnson having current form figures of 7, 2, 32, 10. Admittedly, that form came in events he’s won in the past, so there’s a slight argument he’s not quite at his best.
McIlroy comes here after finishing third and fifth on his last two starts and the new world number one seems motivated to stay at the top of the rankings. He’ll have been disappointed by his final round at Riviera last week but it’s worth remembering he won the final WGC of last season.
The case for backing the front two in the market this week is also strengthened by the lack of event form or current form of some of their nearest market rivals. Justin Thomas missed the cut at Riviera, and only time will tell if arriving here fresher than expected proves a blessing. Jon Rahm finished 19th last week but that was also the worst finish in his last five events. Add in the fact the Spaniard has also finished 20th and 45th in the last two editions of this event (did finish third in 2017) and it could be he’s set to miss out once again.
Last week’s winners Adam Scott finished 45th in the inaugural WGC Mexico but has missed the last two, whilst sixth favourite Webb Simpson has yet to break into the top-30 here in two visits. Seventh and eighth favourites Hideki Matsuyama and Xander Schauffele have also yet to post a top-10 here in two visits, whilst Bryson DeChambeau finished 56th on his tournament debut last year.
Tommy Fleetwood is the only other player under 25/1 that makes any appeal this week, as the Englishman was third here on debut and has yet to finish outside the top-20. He’s fancied to win one of these events or a major soon, and it could be that he’ll be chomping at the bit after nearly a month off after finishing second and eleventh on his last two starts.
There is also some potentially mid-priced each-way value this week in Sergio Garcia, as the Spaniard has finished no worse than 12th in the three editions of the WGC Mexico. The negative is he’s been tinkering with new equipment of late.
All that means it’s easy to think Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy both deserve to be backed each-way this week with the bookies offering generous each-way terms in this smaller than normal field.
But there’s room for one value WGC Mexico tip at a big price this week and Cameron Smith fits the bill. It could be the young Australian has simply taken his foot off the gas after winning four starts ago but there’s no way he should be 100/1 with some bookies this week. He was sixth here last year and could reward each-way support.