Course Preview & Picks By Salary Tier – WGC Mexico Championship

By March 1, 2017PGA, PGA Premium
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Introduction

The top golfers in the world head south of the border as they tackle the Club de Golf Chapultepec in Mexico City for the WGC Mexico Championship. This is the first time the PGA Tour has played here so course history is useless this week but there is some chatter online that Riviera CC, Torrey Pines, and Crans-Sur-Sierra GC (Omega European Masters) are correlated courses. If you’re a course history buff you may want to take a peak at the leaderboards from those courses the last few years. This tournament is a 77 man no cut event so every golfer will play four rounds unless they WD. With no real course history, no cut, and an influx of golfers who don’t play too many events on the PGA Tour, this could be a week where you use less of your bankroll. Personally for me, since I am a degenerate, I’ll probably play my usual amount but with all the different variables, going light this week is something to think about.

Course Description

Club de Golf Chapultepec is a 7,300 yard par 71 with four par 3s and three par 5s. The par 5s are fairly lengthy with two of them being well over 600 yards. There are also a lot of short par 4s on this course as six of them are under 420 yards. This course sits at over 7,000 feet above sea level so it will play much shorter than the yardage suggests. If you take the altitude into account this course is well under 7,000 yards long. Off the tee golfers will see average to below average sized fairways that are heavily tree lined and guarded by fairway bunkers. Visually off the tee, golfers will probably think the fairways are narrower than they actually are because of the heavy tree presence on both sides of almost every fairway. I don’t have information on the length of the kikuyu rough here but if I had to make an educated guess, I wouldn’t think it would be too long or thick. The course looks like it will play easy and with the altitude there will be a lot of short irons onto these greens. Because of that, even if the rough was up, it still wouldn’t present too much of a problem but it would stop balls from reaching the tree line. Now if the rough is short, which I think it will be, then there will be more bounce and roll when golf balls land on the rough and a bad bounce could lead to a golfer being behind a whole slew of trees, which of course will make it more difficult to find the green. I would think that the people that setup the course don’t want a winning score of -30 or better so I think bringing the trees more in play by having light rough will be the way they go. Now once again, this is just an educated guess so take it for what it’s worth. As the week moves on we’ll probably have a better idea of how the course will be setup. On approach shots golfers will see greens with an average length of 27 yards from front to back and much less than that in width. There is a good amount of slope and undulation on these greens and greenside bunkers will be in play. The majority of the greens slope from back to front so keeping it under the hole on approach shots will be key especially if the greens are as fast as I’ve heard (13 on stimpmeter). Two of the smallest greens on the course are on the par 5 6th hole and par 5 15th hole which will make going for the green in two a bit tougher on those holes. The greens use a blend of poa annua and bentgrass and should play firm and fast. One last tidbit before we get into stats. Nearly 65% of winners at WGC events all time have a Major win on their resume. The cream usually rises to the top in these events.

Key Stats For The Course
***In order of importance with the most important first. Not including Strokes Gained Putting (SG:P) which is a key stat every week.

Birdie or Better % (BoB%):
In any no cut event BoB% is one of the first stats you should look at. As we’ve seen in the past, even if a golfer doesn’t finish as highly as we would like them to, they can still be useful if they make a bunch of birdies because of DraftKings scoring system. Just last week we saw Brendan Steele finish in a tie for 14th place but he finished 6th in DraftKings scoring because of his numerous birdies.

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