- Full preview of the WGC Mexico Championship with The Golf Insider
- Four value picks at $34+
We have a great tournament to look at this week: the WGC Mexico Championship. This event sees a host of the world’s best head south of the border to compete in what has become a cracking betting heat.
WGC Mexico Championship: The Tournament
Just below the level of the four majors, and first played in 1999, we have an annual series of co-sanctioned World Golf Championship (WGC) events. These see the world’s very best players get to compete in reduced field, invitational tournaments. Unlike the Majors, the WGC events can occasionally move country… but just like the Majors there are four of them each year – the WGC Match Play, FedEx St.Jude Invitational, WGC-HSBC Champions, and this tournament in Mexico. This event replaced the WGC-Cadillac Championship, held until 2016 at the Trump Doral facility in Florida.
WGC Mexico Championship: The Course
IWe’re at Naucalpan just outside Mexico City, at the Club de Golf Chapultepec. At an altitude of 2,400m above sea level it won’t suit every player and it’ll be interesting to see how those in the field adapt it. Designed by two Scotsmen, Willie and Alex Smith, the course was first opened in 1928 and features a 7,345-yard, par 71 layout. It’s undergone recent changes to bring it up to “world” standard, but the tree-lined course will be set up to play tough, but fair. A lowest winning score of 16-under-par in 2018 suggests that decent scoring will be possible.
268: Phil Mickelson (2018)
62: Justin Thomas (2018)
WGC Mexico Championship: Past Winners
(WGC-Cadillac up to 2016)
2019: Dustin Johnson
2018: Phil Mickelson
2017: Dustin Johnson
2016: Adam Scott
2015: Dustin Johnson
WGC Mexico Championship: The Field
We have a limited field of around 70 players, with no halfway cut. Rory McIlroy is the $6.50 favourite with BetEasy.
WGC Mexico Championship: The Weather
There’s a minimal chance of rain over the four days in Mexico (barely above 20% on any given day). Temperatures will hit the mid-20s and wind speeds will peak at below 10mph… so good playing conditions.
Soccer announcers call the best @WGCMexico moments.
Because… why not? pic.twitter.com/URkGnuqYM1
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 19, 2020
WGC Mexico Championship: Outright Value Bets
Paul Casey (currently $34 with BetEasy)
Casey’s form might look average on face value, but if you look at the numbers behind his performances you’ll see that he’s still hitting the ball great from tee to green. He ranks eighth in Ball Striking for the last two events out of all this week’s competitors. Last week at the Genesis, despite finishing 37th, Casey ranked seventh in Stokes Gained: Off-The-Tee. He was also fifth in Approach and twelfth in Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green. Basically, his long game was as good as ever… it was just on and around the greens where he suffered badly. Chapultepec is very much a horses-for-courses track, and course knowledge is vital. Casey finished third here last time out and on his three starts hasn’t finished worse than 16th. His ball-striking numbers at this venue are bettered by only a handful of players. And given how he played last week – combined with his love for this venue – he looks a cracking bet at the price.
Louis Oosthuizen (currently $34 with BetEasy)
The top of this market is full of names we expect to do well – guys who’ll attract plenty of money. So many of the layers have used it as an excuse to put them in very short. It would be no surprise to see Rory, Rahm or DJ [Dustin Johnson] up there come Sunday, but as we see week after week, there’s so much value further down the lists if you’re prepared to go against the crowd. All four of this week’s picks are proven winners and class acts, and for me they represent much better value than chasing guys on or around the $10 mark or shorter. Oosthuizen is another case in point. The South African is in great nick right now, posting high finishes in his homeland as well as the Middle East. His past form in Mexico is so-so, but piece together his best four rounds here (64-66-69-68) and you’ve got a challenger. The course won’t phase him, nor will the altitude. Oosty is a decent value bet IMO.
Sergio Garcia (currently $41 with BetEasy)
Garcia clearly has a liking for Mexico with three starts yielding finishes of 12-7-6 (all could have been better… each time his final round was his worst of the week). He’s playing some good golf these days, and we last backed him in Abu Dhabi when he finished eighth. Since then Garcia has posted a 23rd in Dubai and a sixth in Saudi. Last week’s effort in California was solid, not spectacular. But as a proven performer I’ve no doubts at all about him being up for the challenge. On a track where players need their game to be on-point, Garcia is the kind of player who finds greens and fairways for fun. The key is whether he can back this up on the greens. If he can, then the Spaniard looks a great bet this week.
Marc Leishman (currently $41 with BetEasy)
Leishman won the Farmers Insurance Open just a few weeks ago and his ball-striking numbers for the last three events have been off the charts, especially for a player who heavily relies on his short game. He ranked first in Ball Striking at the Sony Open, twelfth at the Farmers, and fifth last week at the Genesis. I think this has gone totally under the radar with most bookies. With Leishman playing this well from tee-to-green, any small upturn in his usually excellent putting and chipping could well see the big Aussie winning again. Just like the others, Leishman is unfashionable this week after a mediocre finish in California – despite the numbers painting a totally different picture. Leishman is a multiple tour winner and deadly when given a chance. He looks a great bet at the price.
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