For the first time in the history of the World Golf Championships, Mexico is hosting an individual competition.
The WGC-Mexico Championship will be contested this week at Club de Golf Chapultepec. As of midday Monday, 77 qualifiers are committed to compete.
POWER RANKINGS: WGC - MEXICO CHAMPIONSHIP
RANK PLAYER COMMENT 1 Dustin Johnson 2 Henrik Stenson 3 Jordan Spieth 4 Hideki Matsuyama 5 Justin Rose 6 Gary Woodland 7 Rickie Fowler 8 Rory McIlroy 9 Adam Scott 10 Martin Kaymer 11 Louis Oosthuizen 12 Tyrrell Hatton 13 Bill Haas 14 Sergio Garcia 15 Jon Rahm 16 Justin Thomas 17 Brendan Steele 18 Alex Noren 19 Kevin Na 20 Brandt Snedeker
Tuesday’s Fantasy Insider will include Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Matt Kuchar, Bubba Watson and Charl Schwartzel among other notables.
Mexico’s only previous role as host for a WGC occurred in 2002 when the World Cup was still wearing the badge (2000-2006). Puerto Vallarta presented a site near the shore. This week’s host, Club de Golf Chapultepec, is located in mountain terrain west of Mexico City. It’s a par 35-36=71 tipping at 7,330 yards, but at an elevation of approximately 7,500 feet, the field will be calculating an additional 10 percent or so on measurements. Compared to sea level, it means that the course could play at a translated length of 6,600-6,700 yards. This is why many of the golfers above have results referencing the 2014 BMW Championship contested at Cherry Hills in Colorado, the Barracuda Championship held in Reno, Nevada, and the European Masters in the Swiss Alps.
Club de Golf Chapultepec opened in 1928 and hosted the Mexican Open from 1944-1960. Since, it’s been in a rotation, returning as the site for the national championship in 1974, 1981, 1991 and 2014. In its last spin three years ago, it played as a par 72 when the eighth hole was a 526-yard par 5. (It’s now a 525-yard par 4.) Oscar Alvarez prevailed by one at 17-under 271. The only golfer in this week’s field who competed here in 2014 was Roberto Diaz of Mexico; he placed T36. Current PGA TOUR rookie Julian Etulain finished T14, while PGA TOUR winner Ted Purdy missed the cut. Former member Alexandre Rocha tied for third.
Rough has been limited to two inches, and with a short track and so many opportunities to score, red numbers should be plentiful. Two of the three par 5s are longer than 620 yards – Nos. 6 and 11 – but six of the par 4s check up short of 410 yards. Undulating greens consisting of a blend of bentgrass and Poa are prepped to run 11.5 on the Stimpmeter. That’s a fair compromise for golfers traveling from all corners of the globe who are not accustomed to speedy surfaces.
What’s more, unfamiliar greens benefit average putters. With a seven-year agreement through 2023 at Club de Golf Chapultepec, those who qualify can record and save data for future editions. With no cut in World Golf Championships, all who are in attendance will get four rounds to compile information on top of the experience.
After a sun-splashed opening round on Thursday when the daytime high will be in the upper 70s, warmest of the tournament, the threat for rain enters the picture, albeit moderate at worst. Winds are expected to be light throughout, leaving math to determine projected distance as the primary challenge tee to green.
ROB BOLTON’S WRITING SCHEDULE
PGATOUR.COM’s Fantasy Columnist Rob Bolton will be filing his usual staples leading up to this week’s event. Look for the following columns this week.
MONDAY: Rookie Ranking, Qualifiers, Reshuffle, Medical Extensions, Power Rankings
TUESDAY*: Sleepers, Comfort Zone, Fantasy Insider
WEDNESDAY: One & Done
THURSDAY: Ownership Percentages in PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf and One & Done presented by SERVPRO
* - Rob is a member of the panel for PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Picks, which also publishes on Tuesdays.