What: World Golf Championships - Mexico Championship
When: March 2nd - 5th
Where: Club de Golf Chapultepac
2016 Winner: Adam Scott
Purse: $9.8MM (Winner: $1.7MM)
This tournament was played at Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Doral Florida for the past 10 years; however, due to complaints by the golfers and some controversial comments made by owner Donald Trump, they moved it to a new venue. This is always fun as it means this tournament is now a wild card, familiarity is thrown out the window. The selection process for these include the top 50 players from the Official World Golf Rankings as well as the top 30 PGA Tour FedEx Cup players, top 20 European Tour and top 2 from Asian Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour.
Course: Club de Golf Chapultepac, naculpan de Juarex, Mexico. Built over the course of a few years by Willie Smith and Alex Smith it officially opened in 1928. The course is 7,267 feet long with a mixture of different holes and trees lining most fairways. This course is on high elevation (7,800 feet above sea level) to put this in reference, California averages 2,900 feet above sea level and Floria averages 100 feet above sea level, this is more than twice that height. It has a par 5 converted to long 4 due to the elevation as well as some dogleg's and hole one even has two separate greens. This tournament will favor the shots gained candidates especially greens in regulation as they stretch the distance.
Rory McIlroy. Picking the A golfers for World Championships is great because it is loaded with talent. Adam Scott and Dustin Johnson should be the favorites but I'm leaning towards Rory. He injured his ribs in in January but prior to that he posted 4 straight top ten wins across international play. His OWGR is 3rd and he finished 4th at the last World Championships - HSBC Champions in October.
Bubba Watson. He's been 2nd in Strokes Gained Off the Tee and 4th in Strokes gained approaching. That is perfect here where the altitude should have the ball flying and allow him to reach the green easily. His putting game needs some work but maybe if he has an extra stroke or two he can hold some advantage over the field. The part about him I really like: here is the following tournament after a Missed Cut over the last 3 years (I know he withdrew last tournament but stick with me):
2014: 1st, 31st, 37th,
2015: 1st, 2nd,
he bounces back strong after missed cuts.
Jordan Spieth. Sure this one is kind of mailing in a pick but I have so much faith that he is going to succeed here. I actually think he's going to win the whole thing this week which is why I can't back away from this selection. FedEx Cup Ranking: 3rd. OWFR: 6th, Shots Gained Approaching the Green - 1st, Shots Gained Total - 5th, Greens in Regulation - 1st.
Henrik Stenson. The fact that he counts as a C player is icing on the cake. He's battling back from knee pain but man is that talent too great to avoid at C level. There is a risk of him withdrawing or slowing down with the pain but I think he took an adequate amount of time off and is ready to come in strong at Mexico.
Jon Rahm. To be honest, the more I see him play the more I'm believing this could be legitimate long term success here. With that said, I'm also ok with exhausting most of his starts while he's on this unbelievable hot streak right now.