A field of 65 chases the Gene Sarazen Cup at this week's World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship in Mexico City.
Scaling the mountain carries a literal component since Club de Golf Chapultepec is situated at 7,500 feet above sea level. For details on how the host course played in its tournament debut last year and how Dustin Johnson captured the title, scroll beneath the expanded ranking of 20.
POWER RANKINGS: WGC-MEXICO CHAMPIONSHIP
RANK PLAYER COMMENT 20 Daniel Berger 19 Dylan Frittelli 18 Rickie Fowler 17 Sergio Garcia 16 Jason Dufner 15 Webb Simpson 14 Matthew Fitzpatrick 13 Bubba Watson 12 Ross Fisher 11 Paul Casey 10 Thomas Pieters 9 Jon Rahm 8 Tony Finau 7 Jordan Spieth 6 Justin Rose 5 Phil Mickelson 4 Tommy Fleetwood 3 Dustin Johnson 2 Alex Noren 1 Justin Thomas
Gary Woodland, Matt Kuchar, Kevin Chappell and Marc Leishman will be among the notables included in Tuesday's Fantasy Insider.
The forever goal of every host track is consistency. That begets fairness, which is what every competitor wants. You're not going to find another course that splashed as well as Club de Golf Chapultepec did in 2017.
The par 35-36=71 averaged 0.049 strokes over par as an unknown test. The field averaged 11.3 greens in regulation per golfer per round and connected for par breakers on 30 percent of those opportunities. Those splits aren't outrageous in either direction. Additionally, the fairways-hit average of 8.59 (of 14) was dead center among all courses last season.
None of the official stats are adjusted for altitude, so it's mildly surprising that Chapultepec ranked "just" sixth-longest of 38 courses measured in distance of all drives at 294.1 yards. En route to victory, Johnson slotted a mere 17th in the stat, adding more evidence that he's no one-trick pony. In fact, he was a pedestrian 27th in strokes gained: off-the-tee.
DJ did his work on approach and on the Poa-bentgrass putting surfaces maxing at 11.5 feet on the Stimpmeter. He led the field in strokes gained: approach-the-green, strokes gained: tee-to-green and proximity to the hole. He also set the pace in par-5 scoring at 4.17 with 10 birdies and two pars. Of the 10 golfers inside the top 10 on the final leaderboard, six ranked inside the top 10 in par-5 scoring. Five cracked the top 10 each in strokes gained: tee-to-green and strokes gained: putting.
Chapultepec can stretch to 7,345 yards. It's up 15 due to a new tee box on the par-4 14th hole, which now measures 497 yards. If there's a specific challenge on the course, it's quantified in the undulations in the previously unfamiliar greens. Chapultepec ranked third-stingiest of all courses last season in conversion percentage inside 10 feet, but that didn't stop Johnson, who placed T74 in the stat for the week.
Five qualifiers did not commit this year. For various reasons, Jason Day, Brooks Koepka, Hideki Matsuyama, Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson are sitting it out. For those competing, Mother Nature should cooperate throughout. Passing clouds might yield a sprinkle or two, but nothing that should suspend play. Daytime highs flirting with 80 degrees will be accompanied by gentle breezes and relatively dry air.
ROB BOLTON’S 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, Fantasy Insider, Facebook Live
WEDNESDAY: One & Done
THURSDAY: Expert Picks for PGA TOUR Champions One & Done
* - Rob is a member of the panel for PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Picks for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf presented by SERVPRO, which also publishes on Tuesdays.