The WGC-Mexico Championship returns for Year 2 at Club de Golf Chapultepec. In its debut last season, the Naucalpan course was well-received by players and fans alike, as the tight, tree-lined venue was both aesthetically pleasing and a formidable test. Dustin Johnson took home tournament honors at 14 under, using strong play off the tee (second in strokes gained on the week) and from tee-to-green (first) to get the job done. That he overcame a so-so putting performance, as did runner-up Tommy Fleetwood, shows Chapultepec’s greens—which are relatively undulated and tough—won’t be the deciding factor this week.
As a WGC event, it’s a truncated field, with only 65 players teeing it up. And though Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama won’t be making appearances, the contest still boasts an impressive list. As such, Professor Lou’s favorites are the top four in the world: DJ, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth.
“Since the Model is based on historical data, it should be no wonder it picks the top players to do well,” Riccio says. “But it does pick up some interesting players.”
Among these interesting picks is Ross Fisher, who’s logged three second-place finishes in his last seven events. Although perhaps it’s not that surprising, as Fisher came in third at Mexico last season. Also of note is Sergio Garcia. The reigning Masters champ has played in just three tournaments this year, including last week’s Honda Classic (T-33). He turned in a T-12 in Mexico last season, and has the shot-making to make some noise.
As for our expert, he likes Alex Noren to continue his hot streak south of the border. In four starts this season, Noren’s worst finish is a T-21 in Phoenix, and came in third at last week’s Honda. The 35-year-old enters Mexico ranked third in strokes gained, 12th in approach and second in scoring. He struggled mightily at Chapultepec in 2017, but expect the recent trend to win out.
Another player on your radar should be Tony Finau. He’s known for his muscle, but as the stats show (sixth in sg: tee-to-green, 15th in approach), Finau is a much more complete player. Though he still just has one win to his credit at the alternate-event Puerto Rico Open, Finau already has three top 10s in the early campaign. Up to No. 32 in the world, look for Finau to continue to rise after another sterling display this week.
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