WGC-Mexico Championship Analysis & Predictions

by | Feb 19, 2020 | golf

Event: World Golf Championships - Mexico Championship

When: February 20-23, 2020

Where: Club de Golf Chapultepec - Mexico City, Mexico

TV: The Golf Channel/NBC

The lead up to The Masters includes some of the best golf on the schedule. We got a taste of that with the star-studded leaderboard at The Genesis last week. We will see much of the same at the WGC-Mexico Championship with just a few of the qualified players not making the trip to Mexico City. Adam Scott will look to ride the momentum of his win at Riviera with Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson among the betting favorites. Johnson has won two of the three WGC events since the championship moved to Chapultepec, including last year, when he set the tournament record of 21-under par and won by five strokes. Matt Kuchar and Bryson DeChambeau lead the shortlist of notable American favorites with Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Fitzpatrick among the Euro contenders.

Club de Golf Chapultepec is a relative newcomer to the Tour rotation, taking over host duties from Doral in 2017. The par-71 layout is listed at 7,345 yards but plays significantly shorter than that due to Mexico City sitting at nearly 8,000 feet above sea level. Distance control becomes critical when playing at elevation, and that makes finding the fairways important. Strong iron play will provide an edge this week, especially on the difficult par-3s. In all three previous events at Chapultepec, the par-3s at #7 and #13 ranked among the four hardest holes and will provide a chance to gain some strokes on the field simply by carding a par. The course rolls and winds through tree-lined fairways and makes for a tough overall ball-striking challenge. Riviera was a demanding test last week, and those that did well at The Genesis should be able to see similar success in Mexico.

Each week, we take a look at the online betting sites and highlight the best values on the board. We make a short, middle, and long odds pick to win and breakdown a couple of head-to-head matches that can be found at just about every golf betting outlet. Odds and pairings for this week come courtesy of the board at Bovada. Here are our picks to win the 2020 WGC-Mexico Championship.

Jon Rahm (10 to 1 odds to win)

It has been a fantastic start to the season for Rahm with three top-10s in four PGA starts alongside wins in Spain and Dubai from late 2019. He has played in all three WGC events in Mexico, topping out at T3 in 2017, and he pushed toward the top of the board last week before falling back a bit on Sunday. There are few statistical weaknesses, if any, on his stat sheet, but the most impressive numbers come on the green where Rahm ranks 8th in strokes gained-putting and 4th in total putting. He enters the week 3rd in total strokes gained and is 10th in scoring average. He is accomplished around the greens to round out the stats, and he is not afraid of the strong field events.

Hideki Matsuyama (20 to 1)

Matsuyama has been a picture of consistency with seven top-25s in nine starts, including a 2nd and 3rd place finish during the fall portion of the schedule. He was the weekend winner at Riviera with a 64-69 finish, so look for him to establish himself again in Mexico so long as that iron game travels. Matsuyama ranks 12th in greens hit and 4th in overall tee-to-green performance to fit the profile of a winner at Chapultepec, and he’s made enough putts to net the 3rd best scoring mark. He is 23rd in scrambling, and I like the ability to save strokes at what is still a somewhat unfamiliar setting on Tour. His putting has ranked near the Tour average for most of 2019-20, so any uptick is going to propel him from that base top-25 tier to top-10 or better.

Collin Morikawa (40 to 1)

Morikawa has been on an absolute march since the fall with six straight top-25 finishes as part of a 9-for-9 stretch in cuts made. That run propelled him to 49th in the world, and he will make his first WGC start as a result. He might be a little light on experience, but his play has proven to be above average with the 9th best tee-to-green stat and a top-25 scoring average. He isn’t a bomber by trade but hits plenty of fairways and greens and enters the week 14th in total strokes gained. He is a solid scrambler and seems fearless playing against the best in the world. I think he is going to win multiple times in the next few years, and this week could be a good week for him to navigate under the radar and sneak up on this field.



Head-to-Head Matches

Picks to win based on the predicted score for all four rounds. Check with your favorite online betting site for single round matches and a variety of prop bets.

Adam Scott (-115) v. Webb Simpson (-115) (pick to win: Simpson)

Scott is going to get a lot of love considering how well he tackled a tough weekend at Riviera, but Simpson has been aces with four top-10s in four 2020 starts, including a win in Phoenix. These two have only appeared in the same field once with Simpson getting a win with a T7 at the Shriners while Scott was an also-ran at T42. Simpson leads the Tour in birdies and scoring in 2020 and holds a significant advantage over Scott in fairways hit. Scott is the longer player, but that isn’t a big factor this week, and I’d rather have the better control player. Simpson should also see an advantage around the greens to complete the stat sheet edge. Scott proved it last week for sure, but any regression to his late 2019/early 2020 form will leave an opening for Simpson to notch a win this week.

Gary Woodland (-115) v. Patrick Reed (-115) (pick to win: Woodland)

Both players are in the same success tier in 2020, with each notching three top-10 finishes in six starts. Both have also started all three WGC events in Mexico, so their overall experience is a wash here. Neither has been particularly relevant at Chapultepec, but I like Woodland to do well based on his strong tee-to-green game. He owns advantages over Reed in fairways and greens hit and is just behind Reed in scoring despite Patrick being one of the better putters on Tour in 2020. That putter has obviously been the catalyst for Reed’s success this season, but I don’t like his pedestrian ball-striking numbers at a course that will demand solid tee-to-green play. Woodland won’t need his length here, but he should see some very short iron scenarios, and I expect that to pay off over the course of four days. A few more birdie looks will erase Reed’s advantage on the greens and get Gary a finish near the top-15 with Reed in the 20-to-25 tier.

Good luck and good golf!