2020 WGC Mexico Championship Picks, PredictionsPat Mayo and Geoff Fienberg preview the course and run through the odds while making their 2020 WGC Mexico Picks. The guys give their fantasy golf picks, provide their one and done strategy for the event from Club de Golf Chapultepec.
2020 TV and Digital Coverage: Show Index
2020 WGC Mexico Championship FieldField: 72 Players
Cut: No cut
First Tee: 12:00 p.m. ET; Thursday, Feb. 20
Defending Champion: Dustin Johnson
How elite was last week’s field? Well, the of the top-10 players on the betting board in Mexico, eight of them teed off at Riviera. The only changes are Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka have been replaced by Webb Simpson, whose two-event rest after winning Phoenix is finished, and Tommy Fleetwood, making his North American 2020 debut. Of the top 25 players in the world rankings, just Tiger, Brooks, Justin Rose, Patrick Cantlay, and Tony Finau are taking a pass on the 2020 WGC Mexico Championship.
While those four skipping Mexico City and heading directly to Florida (no confirmed reports on whether or not they’ve passed GO), we’re getting the remainder of the top international players migrating over to kick off their preparation for the Masters. Along with Fleetwood, Louis Oosthuizen, Victor Perez, Shane Lowry, Robert MacIntyre, Matthias Schwab, Bernd Weisberger, Lee Westwood, Michael Lorenzo-Vera, Justin Harding, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Justin Harding, Tyrrell Hatton, Matt Wallace, Lucas Herbert, Jorge Campillo, Pablo Larrazabal, Zander Lombard, Benjamin Herbert, Tae Hee Lee, Zach Murray, Ryan Fox, Ryo Ishikawa, Scott Hend, and Jazz Janewattananond popping up amount the PGA TOUR elites for the first time this year.
If you’re searching for the PGA TOUR grinders, they too will get some warm weather in their systems, where Viktor Hovland and Alex Noren headline the field to the 2020 Puerto Rico Open.
AND, if you’re searching for Henrik Stenson. I have no idea where that guy is. Being rich and relaxing, I’ll wager.
2020 WGC Mexico Championship: Key StatsStrokes Gained: Approach
Par 4s Gained
Proximity Gained 125-150 Yards
Mayo’s Custom Stat POWER RANKINGS from FantasyNational.com
2020 WGC Mexico Championship: CourseCourse: Club de Golf Chapultepec
2020 WGC Mexico Championship: Past Winners2019: Dustin Johnson -21
2018: Phil Mickelson -16
2019: Dustin Johnson -14
2020 WGC Mexico Championship: NotesThe 2020 WGC Mexico Championship will be the second season the event has come following The Genesis Invitational. The first two years, the tournament came after the Honda Classic on the schedule, but that travel plan made no sense. Additionally, rearranging the order leads to no grass-type confusion, as the field gets Poa Annua for the third consecutive week without a Bermudagrass event sandwiched in between.
Although Club de Golf Chapultepec and Riviera CC are both sport Poa putting surfaces with Kikuyu rough and play about the same length from the tips, these courses have no resemblance. Playing at over 7,600 feet in elevation, this course’s true distance is somewhere closer to 6,900 yards after you adjust for the thin air. The only event between both the PGA and European Tours that even comes close to the elevation in Mexico City is the Omega European Masters in Switzerland. Past winners of that tournament include Matthew Fitzpatrick, Danny Willet and Sergio Garcia.
While customizing your research on a site like www.fantasynational.com, you’ll be better using course-related stats for sub-7,000-yard course rather than over 7,300.
Now in the fourth year at the course, it has become evident Strokes Gained: Approach is the tee-to-green metric to lean on. In the last three years, SG: APP has been more influential on the top-5 finishers than SG: OTT and SG: ATG combined. It’s not that driving isn’t important, distance in elevation can shrink a lot of these holes (just ask two-time winner Dustin Johnson) however similar to Heritage and other shorter venues, knowing which side of the hole to generate the proper angle of attack is far more important than just hitting it down the center of the fairway. Unless you can just hit the green from the tee, of course.
SG: Putting has carried the biggest statistical impact on the winner and top-5 finishers, but that’s not unusual. While attempting to predict putting stats is a fool’s errand, something needs to appear in this column, so here are the SG: Putting leaders at this course over the past three years (per Round): Cam Smith, Charles Howell, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Dustin Johnson, Brandt Snedeker, Kevin Kisner, Matt Wallace, Tyrrell Hatton, Justin Thomas, Sergio Garcia.
Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy have never finished outside the top 15 in any of their starts. Paul Casey, Xander Schauffele, Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton have never finished outside the top 20.
Cameron Smith and Charles Howell III generated a top-15 finish in their tournament debuts a year ago.
All three champions not only played Riviera the year they won this event, but they all have also finished inside the top 10 at the Genesis. This year, Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar, Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama, Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson and Chez Reavie would fit that trend.
2020 WGC Mexico Championship — Targets From Each Range
Rory McIlroyLike Dustin Johnson, Rory actually does a lot of damage on shorter courses. I present 2019 as a test case, wins at Sawgrass, Hamilton and East Lake would support that theory. The runner-up a year ago, Rory is fresh off a top 5 at Genesis, his fifth consecutive top-5 finish and ninth top 10 in his past 11 PGA starts.
Paul CaseyThe Brit has never finished outside the top 20 of this event, and the strangest part, he’s never lost strokes on the green at Club de Golf Chapultepec. Atypical for Mr. Casey. Despite a T37 finish a week ago, Casey was a ball-striking phenom, his 9.2 Strokes Gained Ball Striking was the most of any player in the field.
Bernd WeisbergerAll it took was back-to-back missed cuts during the Middle East swing to push Weisberger down the board. This is a pure value play. The Austrian’s odds and DraftKings price simply do not match his status. Currently the No. 23 player in the world, Weisberger has three wins in the past year and is floating around the middle of the pack European Tour players in this event.
Other notable names appearing near the top of stat models and the win simulator at FantasyNational.com: Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Sungjae Im, Scottie Scheffler, Robert Macintyre
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Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long and short-form content, and the host of The Pat Mayo Experience daily talk show. (Subscribe for video or audio). Mayo (@ThePME) won the 2020 Fantasy Sports Writing Association Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and Golf Writer of the Year awards, along with the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Best Sports Betting Analyst award, and was finalist for four FSWA Awards in 2020 (Best Podcast, Best Video, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). His 21 FSWA nominations lead all writers this decade and are third-most all-time. Mayo has been recognized across multiple sports (Football, Baseball & Golf), mediums (Video, Writing & Podcasting), genre (Humor), and game formats (Daily Fantasy and Traditions Season Long). Beyond sports, Mayo covers everything from entertainment to pop culture to politics. If you have a fantasy question, general inquiry or snarky comment, ship it to Mayo at ThePatMayoExperience@gmail.com and the best will be addressed on the show.
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