The first WGC Event of the season has already sparked huge controversy. New American president Donald Trump is far from pleased that the PGA Tour has decided to shun the Trump-owned Blue Monster at Doral, the traditional home for this event, and move it to Mexico – for the next 7 years!
But enough about politics, as this is a golf tournament, and all most of us really want to do is find the winner.
The new host-venue is the Club de Golf Chapultepec in Mexico City, used many times for the Mexican Open, and the par-71 measures 7,330 yards. It’s hard to be fully committed to which players will be suited to the layout as, whilst it’s quite long, the fact the course is at altitude will make it play considerably shorter. Bombers may still be able to take advantage of some short par-4’s, however it may well play more into the hands of players who have their yardages dialled-in for the week in these unusual conditions.
The course is certainly a far-cry from Doral. It’s tree-lined appearance is more akin to Wentworth than the Blue Monster, whilst Kikuyu Fairways and Greens that are a mixture of Bentgrass and Poa Annua mean conditions will also be very similar to those at Riviera two-weeks ago. The winner also looks likely to have to go low, as the lowly-ranked Oscar David Alvarez shot 17-under when winning here in 2014.
All of that will surely be music to the ears of new world number-1 Dustin Johnson who, not only romped home at Riviera, but also seems to have all areas of his game dialled-in. He side-stepped the Honda last week, at a course he hates, and he should be fresh and ready to add another WGC Event to his ever-burgeoning CV.
The rest of the top-10 players in the world come here in varying degrees of form, except world number-2 Jason Day who misses the event because of flu. Meanwhile, it’s hard to see Rory McIlroy turning-up with his A-Game after his time off with a damaged rib. Matsuyama may also have had enough for now judging by his missed-cut at Riviera, whilst Stenson is usually more miss-than-hit at this time of year.
You can never rule Spieth out, though Adam Scott has the extra pressure of defending, and Justin Thomas is another who seems to have taken his foot off the gas after a couple of early season wins. Fowler and Garcia may also be in their comfort zones after recording wins in recent weeks, so the next vote goes to world number-12 Justin Rose who has put together some great performances this season, and he’ll surely win soon if his putter ever gets hot.
The third and final player in this week’s betting-strategy is Louis Oosthuizen. The South African should be right at home on the Kikuyu, and he looked to have discovered some of his best form at last week’s Honda.
WGC Mexico Golf Championship Tips
Dustin Johnson 2.5 Points Each-Way @ 7/1 (Betfred, Ladbrokes) ¼ odds 5 places
Justin Rose 1.5 Points Each-Way @ 22/1 (Various Bookies) ¼ odds 5 places
Louis Oosthuizen 1 Point Each-Way @ 50/1 (Various Bookies) ¼ odds 5 places