Paul Williams

Paul Williams' WGC Mexico Championship Tips 2020

Get Paul's previews as soon as they're published @golfbetting Follow Now

The first WGC event of the year is upon us already and we return for the fourth of what’s planned to be seven WGC Mexico Championships that will be held here at the Club de Golf Chapultepec in Mexico City over the next few years.

An elite field of 72 players with no cut is our task this week, and with the bulk of the world’s top-50 here – Tiger Woods, Patrick Cantlay, Tony Finau, Rickie Fowler, Brooks Koepka, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Jason Day the notable exceptions -we’re in for some fun on an entertaining course played at altitude and in glorious weather.

Before we talk through my WGC Mexico Championship tips, the number of new visitors to Golf Betting System is increasing in the inevitable build-up to The Masters. Welcome to you all and let me point you in the direction of our weekly Golf Betting System podcast (published Tuesday) our Golf Betting Show on YouTube and our hugely popular private group on Facebook – you can Join Here.

2020 Majors Competition Sponsored By bet365:

Following on from the success of the last 8 annual GBS Majors competitions, bet365 have kindly offered to sponsor the 2020 edition with a massive £250 CASH prize fund! Our 2020 winner will receive £150 (or currency equivalent) in cash with additional £75 and £25 prizes for 2nd and 3rd place finishers.

Basically we want you to pick a single player for each of the 4 Majors any time before the start of the 2020 Masters and get those 4 names entered into the competition by one of the methods detailed on our rules page here. Best of luck all!

WGC Mexico Championship Tips – Featured Bookmaker:

Boylesports are attacking this week’s WGC Mexico Championship, offering an industry-best 7 places each-way at 1/5 odds, with strong prices to boot. If you haven’t already got a Boylesports account then new customers can access their new customer offer using the link below:

✅ Up to £25 in free bets for new UK customers using this qualifying link
✅ Regularly extending full-field PGA Tour events to 8 places each-way in 2019
✅ Offered 10 places each-way 1/5 odds at the 2019 Open Championship

Boylesports UK New Customer Offer: 18+, T&Cs apply. Cash stakes only. Min £10 stake required for initial £5 free bet. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Max £25 in free bets. Subsequent free bets equal 50% average of each 3 qualifying bets. 13 bets required to receive full £25 free bet. Qualifying bet must be placed within 30 days of opening account. Free bet expires after 7 days. Payment method restrictions apply.

Club de Golf Chapultepec. Designer: Willie & Alex Smith, 1921. Course Type: Classical, Altitude; Par: 71; Length: 7,330 yards; Fairways/Rough: Kikuyu; Greens: Poa Annua, 12-13 on the stimpmeter.

Course Overview. The course has a classical, old-style feel to it with its narrow, tree-lined fairways and small greens. Players have commented that it feels very much like a tight Spanish or Italian track in terms of its characteristics, however at over 7,000 feet of elevation the altitude adds another dimension to this week with balls flying anything between 10-20% further depending on the club used. So a 7,330 yardage in reality reads around 6,500 yards which makes this a course that should reap birdies and eagles for those players who can keep the ball in play from off the tee.

Aside from the three par-5s, the first and second hole – two short and potentially driveable holes for the brave – are the easiest holes on the course. Each of the four par-3s played over par last year with the 235 yard 7th hole ranking 2nd overall in terms of difficulty behind the 525 yard par-4 8th.

Aside from the fact that this is a tight, tree-lined track that demands accuracy or a mercurial short game, the biggest challenge over the three renewals held here has been on the greens. Relatively speedy putting surfaces that contain sufficient Poa Annua to describe them as such are the order of the day, however whilst they’re not bad greens they do contain a lot of movement and an awful lot of short putts have been missed here over the past 3 years.

Players who have the creativity to use the undulations on the greens to their benefit – almost Augusta-style on occasions – may well have an advantage and those who’ve played here competitively will certainly have much more of an idea what to expect here this time around.

wgc mexico championship tips

Tournament Stats. With only 3 year’s worth of course history to review, stats are in relatively short supply this week: Current Form | Course Form | First Round Leader | Combined Stats.

Predictor Model. Our published Predictor Model is available here. As always you can build your own model using the variables available.

Winners & Prices. WGC Mexico Championship: 2019: Dustin Johnson, 11/1; 2018: Phil Mickelson, 25/1; 2017: Dustin Johnson, 7/1; WGC Cadillac Championship (Doral): 2016: Adam Scott, 12/1; 2015: Dustin Johnson, 22/1; 2014: Patrick Reed, 80/1; 2013: Tiger Woods, 12/1; 2012: Justin Rose, 66/1; 2011: Nick Watney, 20/1; 2010: Ernie Els, 40/1.

Weather Forecast. The latest weather forecast for Mexico City is here. A dry event is expected with light to moderate winds, peaking at 10 mph in the afternoons, and temperatures reaching around the low 80s Fahrenheit.

Tournament Trends & Key Factors.

Stats from the top-2 finishers from each of the last 3 years gives us a little more insight into the requirements for this test:

  • 2019: 1st, Dustin Johnson (-21). 330 yards (12th), 60.7% fairways (25th), 80.6% greens in regulation (1st), 85.7% scrambling (2nd), 1.72 putts per GIR (12th)
  • 2019: 2nd, Rory McIlroy (-16). 343 yards (2nd), 64.3% fairways (17th), 70.8% greens in regulation (17th), 52.4% scrambling (45th), 1.63 putts per GIR (2nd)
  • 2018: 1st, Phil Mickelson (-16). 302 yards (40th), 48.2% fairways (53rd), 69.4% greens in regulation (25th), 81.8% scrambling (2nd), 1.66 putts per GIR (3rd)
  • 2018: 2nd, Justin Thomas (-16). 302 yards (43rd), 66.1% fairways (9th), 72.2% greens in regulation (16th), 80.0% scrambling (3rd), 1.60 putts per GIR (1st)
  • 2017: 1st, Dustin Johnson (-14). 322 yards (4th), 58.9% fairways (49th), 72.2% greens in regulation (5th), 70.0% scrambling (14th), 1.67 putts per GIR (5th)
  • 2017: 2nd, Tommy Fleetwood (-13). 304 yards (21st), 73.2% fairways (5th), 72.2% greens in regulation (5th), 80.0% scrambling (2nd), 1.77 putts per GIR (30th)

The driving distance stats in isolation are almost academic here given the altitude, and the fact that driver is seldom used on this course as players seek to find position on the fairways first and foremost.

That’s easier said than done given the tight, tree-lined layout here in Mexico City, however players who can find the right parts of fairways have the best chance of attacking these smallish, multi-tier greens which are the toughest part of the course.

Aside from the undulations, the greens themselves contain a lot of subtle movements and compared to some of the snooker table flat greens that the professionals encounter, these are far more challenging. 3-putts are commonplace as are missed short putts; however players can’t get overly aggressive on the putting surfaces given how speedy they are, so patience is key around here.

What’s noticeable from the stats above is that neither fairways hit nor greens found in regulation stats are particularly high – with the exception of Dustin Johnson last year who blew the field away with his iron-play – which puts the emphasis more on how players perform on and around the greens here.

Despite the fact that we have some attackable par-4s due to the impact of the altitude here – and the par-5s are equally gettable – brute force from off the tee isn’t the only way to play this course and I suspect that any type of player can contend around this track if they stick to their game plan. With conditions likely to be very similar to the previous renewals here, I’m expecting a similar winning score and a similar emphasis on scrambling and putting when looking at the eventual stats of those players who contend.

Incoming Form. Looking at the same top-2 finishers from the past 3 years, each player had either won or finished runner-up in an event in the recent past and in Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson (twice), both arrived off the back of a top-10 finish on their last start.

  • 2019: 1st: Dustin Johnson: 27/11/7/24/3/30/7/4/16/1/45/9
  • 2019: 2nd: Rory McIlroy: 2/6/50/12/5/7/54/21/20/4/5/4
  • 2018: 1st, Phil Mickelson: 39/MC/54/6/20/3/15/MC/45/5/2/6
  • 2018: 2nd, Justin Thomas: 6/1/47/2/17/1/11/22/14/17/9/1
  • 2017: 1st, Dustin Johnson: MC/18/8/1/6/35/3/6/2/MC/3/1
  • 2017: 2nd, Tommy Fleetwood: 13/15/4/37/22/14/9/3/1/MC/MC/12

Kikuyu for the fairways and rough is used throughout this track, which isn’t that common on the PGA Tour, however we do have recent events at Riviera last week and Torrey Pines in January that featured that type of set-up to potentially give us a clue as to how this might play out, particularly with the emphasis seeming to fall on short-game excellence.

Generally straighter players should in theory be favoured given the penalties for straying off-line; however the altitude shortens the holes so significantly here that taking driver from off the tee is the exception rather than the rule, which negates that to certain degree.

A decent track record on Poa Annua and/or Bent/Poa putting surfaces won’t be a bad asset for potential contenders to possess, nor will a smattering of form at tracks played at altitude where more adjustment is required to distances.

13 of the last 16 WGC winners have rated as 25/1 shots or shorter, so it’s fair to say that in recent times the cream has risen to the top in these events regardless of whether it’s been the WGC Mexico, WGC Match Play, WGC Bridgestone/Fed Ex St Jude or the WGC HSBC Champions.

My Final WGC Mexico Championship Tips Are As Follows:

Dustin Johnson 5pts Win 15/2 with Unibet

Rarely am I tempted with single-figure chances in this game, however with Dustin Johnson on a track where he’s won twice from three attempts – the most recent of which by five clear strokes – I’m happy to make an exception.

I guess when trying to justify whether or not to back a player at this kind of price, you need to gauge whether he wins enough of these sorts of events and whether he’s in good enough form to warrant an investment. Given his current form – 7th at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, 2nd at the Saudi International, 32nd at Pebble beach and 10th last week at Riviera – I’d say he’s in broadly similar form to that which he arrived last year before leaving the field for dust.

Given 7 attempts at this in his current state of game, does DJ win at least once to justify the price? Well 2 wins from 3 attempts would suggest an affirmative and 6 wins from his last 23 starts at WGC level encourages further positivity in my view.

Of course one could argue, with some justification it has to be said, that having got himself to within a shot of the lead on Sunday at Riviera that he should have made a better fist of it than finishing in a tie for 10th. That argument follows for this week’s favourite Rory McIlroy too of course, who was in an even stronger position and failed to convert. Winning is never easy in this game, however returning to a happy hunting ground can often be the final piece of that sometimes elusive jigsaw.

Having gained 8 shots from tee-to-green on Friday and Saturday combined at The Genesis, the 35 year-old’s approach play let him down at the business end of the event last week, leaving him 4 shots adrift of Adam Scott’s winning total. 50% GIR for the week tells its own story, however we saw last year a full 20-point improvement in his approach play stats from Riviera to Chapultepec and given the vagaries of this sport I’m backing something similar to happen this week. Given that he led the field for putting last week, anything approaching that level here should see him in with a massive chance of bagging his Mexico Championship hat-trick.

Statistically the 2016 US Open winner sits atop this week’s Predictor Model and has successfully defended a title in the past back in 2010 at Pebble Beach. One of the best putters on Poa Annua surfaces in modern-day golf and equally adept at altitude, I see little reason to oppose Dustin here this week and will back him to win accordingly.

✅ Bet £20 Get £40 in bonuses for new customers using this qualifying link
✅ Early odds available each week on the PGA Tour and European Tour
✅ Strong odds on First Round Leader market

Unibet New Customer Offer: New customers only. 18+. BeGambleAware.org Minimum deposit is £10. Place any sportsbook bet (except Racing) of £20+ at minimum odds of 2/5 (1.40) to receive your free bets and casino bonus. 35x wagering requirement on casino bonus. Free bet will expire 7 days after opt-in. £20 casino bonus will expire after 30 days of opt-in. Further Terms and Conditions Apply.

Patrick Reed 1.5pts EW 50/1 (5ew, 1/4) with bet365

With just 3 years’ worth of results here at Chapultepec to peruse, drawing too many conclusions from the wins of Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson might be dangerous, however I’ll give that angle some credence for the first of my three each-way selections nevertheless.

Like both DJ and Lefty, Patrick Reed won this event’s predecessor the WGC Cadillac Championship (or WGC CA Championship prior to that) that was held at Doral until it moved here to Mexico and adopted its current name. Both of those winners here have also won the WGC HSBC Champions – an event where Reed has finished inside the top-8 on 3 of his last 5 starts, including the past 2 years in succession – and having that WGC title already on the CV seems to breed further success at this level over time.

Further crossover with The Northern Trust in the PlayOffs, as well as the winners-only Sentry Tournament of Champions for both Johnson and Reed, further bolsters the argument that Captain America could go well here as he looks to put his rules altercations well and truly behind him as he focuses on Ryder Cup qualification over the forthcoming months.

An event where the emphasis is around taking opportunities when presented on these Poa Annua putting surfaces, and minimising bogeys when inevitably finding yourself out of position, lends itself to a player of Reed’s ilk and progressive form here of 61/37/14 would suggest he’s getting increasingly comfortable around these parts.

A Saturday 64 last year catapulted him into 3rd position heading into the final day and although a Sunday 73 was never likely to be sufficient, his card hard already been marked for potential success here in the future.

51st last week has kept a lid on his price here at Chapultepec, however an opening round of 68, which put him in 7th spot after day 1, and a relatively strong performance on the largely Poa Annua greens of Riviera keeps him ticking over nicely. Prior to that he lost in a play-off at Kapalua and finished 6th at Torrey Pines where he again showed some form on the Poa Annua greens (2nd for putts per GIR) to suggest that he could hit the ground running this week.

✅ Up to £100 In Bet Credits for new customers. You can use code SPORT100 and this link to claim
✅ Early odds available each week on the PGA Tour and European Tour
✅ Offered 8 places each-way 1/5 odds at all 4 Majors in 2019

bet365 New Customer Offer: Up to £100 in Bet Credits. New Customers only. Up to £100 in Bet Credits. Sign up, deposit £5 or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply. The bonus code SPORT100 can be used during registration, but this does not change the offer amount.

Brandt Snedeker 1pt EW 80/1 (7EW, 1/5) with Boylesports

A pair of missed cuts on his last 2 starts has pushed the price of Brandt Snedeker out to an interesting level and I’m happy to take a chance that he can turn those results around after a week’s rest while others were battling it out at Riviera.

For his backers those two weekends off will have come as a surprise given how he started 2020, finishing 12th at the Sony Open after a sluggish 72 to start and following that up with a 3rd place finish on the Poa Annua greens of Torrey Pines. For me, those efforts are a far better indicator of his underlying level of form and having ranked 5th for Strokes Gained Putting, 3rd for Putting Average and 1st for Total Putts at The Farmers, it’s fair to say that the flat stick was working nicely which is encouraging for a player who produces his best golf when confidence is sky high on the greens.

Like Reed, there’s some correlating course cross-over with the 2 winners here at Chapultepec, with Snedeker having recorded 2 wins at Pebble Beach over the years – as we know both Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson have both tamed the Poa Annua surfaces there on multiple occasions.

7th here in 2017 is the 39 year-old’s only course form, however aside from that headline finish it’s also worth noting that he opened with a 75 that week and his final 3 rounds produced a lower total than anyone else in the field, including eventual winner Dustin Johnson. 199 from Friday through Sunday was over 13 strokes better than the field average and suggests that he quickly found his feet on this track after a slow start.

✅ Up to £25 in free bets for new UK customers using this qualifying link
✅ Regularly extending full-field PGA Tour events to 8 places each-way in 2019
✅ Offered 10 places each-way 1/5 odds at the 2019 Open Championship

Boylesports UK New Customer Offer: 18+, T&Cs apply. Cash stakes only. Min £10 stake required for initial £5 free bet. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Max £25 in free bets. Subsequent free bets equal 50% average of each 3 qualifying bets. 13 bets required to receive full £25 free bet. Qualifying bet must be placed within 30 days of opening account. Free bet expires after 7 days. Payment method restrictions apply.

Byeong-Hun An 1pt EW 90/1 (6EW, 1/5) with Unibet

Finally I’m also going to take a chance on Byeong-Hun An who’s been quietly producing some strong finishes over the last few months, yet still rates at a backable price here this week for an each-way shot.

3rd at the Sanderson Farms Championship, 6th at the CJ Cup, 8th at the Zozo Championship and 9th on his last start in Phoenix means that the 29 year-old sits atop the top-10 finish stats for the wraparound season-to-date alongside the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Webb Simpson, driven largely by a purple patch with his short game which should set him in good stead here this week.

45th here last year doesn’t stand out massively, granted, however a 3rd round 64 – the tied best on the day and beaten by just 2 players over the course of the week – is encouraging, and the South Korean ranked 3rd for putting over the full 4 days to suggest he’s quite comfortable on these greens.

This course has been relatively kind to those players who cut their teeth on the European Tour, and for tree-lined form we can look at his BMW PGA Championship victory in 2015 which came on the pre-renovation putting surfaces at Wentworth which were as much Poa Annua as they were Bentgrass. 7th at the Joburg Open and 8th at the Nedbank in the same year are useful performances at altitude and 14th on his last WGC start at the HSBC Champions was his best career finish at this level to date.

Converting promising positions has been Ben’s bugbear of late, however we could say the same about a whole host of players at shorter prices so I’m happy to take a chance on him sticking around on Sunday if he finds himself in the mix. Having become a father in recent days, perhaps he’ll find a new-found level of fortitude if he’s in position coming down the stretch this week.

✅ Bet £20 Get £40 in bonuses for new customers using this qualifying link
✅ Early odds available each week on the PGA Tour and European Tour
✅ Strong odds on First Round Leader market

Unibet New Customer Offer: New customers only. 18+. BeGambleAware.org Minimum deposit is £10. Place any sportsbook bet (except Racing) of £20+ at minimum odds of 2/5 (1.40) to receive your free bets and casino bonus. 35x wagering requirement on casino bonus. Free bet will expire 7 days after opt-in. £20 casino bonus will expire after 30 days of opt-in. Further Terms and Conditions Apply.

Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 17:20GMT 17.2.20 but naturally subject to fluctuation.