Welcome back Degenerates for another weekly PGA DFS preview with @DFSduncan. This week brings us to the first WGC event of the calendar year in Mexico City, Mexico. First let’s briefly touch on last week’s rain-soaked Genesis Open at Riviera. JB Holmes took down the crown with a 4th round charge that saw him track down Justin Thomas. Holmes recorded his first Tour victory in nearly 4 years by overcoming a 5 shot deficit entering the 4th round. His victory was a bit overshadowed by his infamous slow play that was on full display throughout the weekend, but nonetheless his come back was very impressive during a 4th round that saw many at the top of the leaderboard struggle to break par. The win was made even more impressive by the fact that the field at the Genesis Open was absolutely loaded. With all that being said let’s move on to this week’s WGC Mexico Championship.
Course Preview and Key Stats
This week’s course is Club de Golf Chapultepec in Mexico City, Mexico. The course is a par 71 that plays just over 7,300 yards. It’s worth noting that the elevation of the course is 7,500 feet above sea level, which is the highest elevation on tour. That will make the course play much shorter than the listed 7,300 yards. This will be the 3rd year this course has hosted this event, and this is a no cut event. The rough is not very penal and there are some short par 4’s that should give the big hitters in the field a good advantage. As always approach will be very important this week as well; these guys will need to give themselves good birdie looks as the scores can get pretty low if conditions are good. With that being said these are the stats I’ll be looking at this week.
- SG: Ball Striking
- SG: Approach
- Bridies or better gained
- Driving Distance
- Par 4 Scoring >400 yards
Rory McIlroy ($11,100)
If you’ve read any of my previews so far you’ll know that I’m very high on Justin Thomas. However, the $700 in savings you can get for Rory is huge and his form has been nearly as good as Thomas. Rory has gained over 3.5 stokes on approach in every event he’s played in the US this calendar year. Couple that with his elite off the tee game and you have a guy who should be in contention come late on Sunday. He’s played here once before and finished T7. He’s as strong a play as any this week.
Jon Rahm ($10,700)
Rahm is another guy who is elite off the tee and has great current form. He’s finished top 10 in every event he’s played since last year’s WGC China event. He’s played here twice with a T3 in 2017 and a T20 in 2018. If his iron play improves a bit, he’ll be in line for his first tour win of the year.
Marc Leishman ($8,700)
Leishman has been great this calendar year with 3 of his 4 starts resulting in top 4 finishes. He’s coming off a stellar performance in Riviera with his irons in which he gained 6.4 strokes on the field with his approaches. His price is very reasonable, and his upside is as good as any in the field in this week.
Bubba Watson ($8,400)
Bubba is coming in with back to back top 15 finishes and will be looking to keep his strong play going. He ranks out at 4th in my model over his last 8 rounds and 15th in my model over his last 12 rounds. He’ll be able to use his distance this week to leave himself a lot of short irons into the greens. He’s coming off a T9 in this event last year.
Segio Garcia ($8,00)
Sergio has been in the news so far this year for all the wrong reasons after his very public DQ in Saudi Arabia. However, his overall play has been fairly strong. He gained 5.4 strokes on the field with his approach game last week and clearly likes the course with top 12 finishes here in 2017 and 2018.
Ian Poulter ($7,900)
Poulter has been on a roll the last month across the pond. He has 3 straight top 6 finishes in Europe. He hasn’t played this course yet but if he gets his putter rolling he has the skills necessary to compete in this strong field. He might fly a bit under the radar this week given that he hasn’t played in the US since the Sony Open back in early January.
Branden Grace ($6,800)
Grace is coming off a MC at Riviera in which a 2nd round 75 cost him a chance at playing the weekend. Grace hasn’t performed great in his 2 appearances here with a T30 and a T32, but over his last 24 rounds he’s 17th in the field in Opportunities Gained, meaning he’s giving himself a chance to get some birdies if his putter gets hot.
Shugo Imahira ($6,100)
Imahira is ranked 65th in the world and will likely fly well under the radar due to the fact that he plays primarily in Japan. He has one start on tour this year which was at the Sony Open. He showed that he’s capable of going low with rounds of 65 and 67 on the first 2 days of the tournament before fading a bit on the weekend. At this cost point the savings should allow you to pay up for the rest of your roster.
This concludes this week’s WGC Mexico Championship preview. I’ll be crossing my fingers that the weather will hold up better than it has the last 2 weekends and gives us a traditional 18-hole finish on Sunday with some excitement. As always feel free to reach out to me on twitter @DFSduncan with any questions or comments. Good luck to all and I hope to see some green screens for everyone Sunday evening.