A top-notch field has arrived in the Mexican capital for this week's prestigious WGC event. Words and stats supplied by Andy Swales...
"Solid ball striking is essential at a tight venue where even the slightest mistake is likely to be gobbled up by one of Chapultepec’s many wooded areas. To win here, a golfer will need to have all parts of his game in good working order by the time he tees-up in Thursday’s opening round."
With the West Coast Swing done and dusted for the season, and its Florida equivalent yet to start, the PGA Tour travels to Mexico for the first World Golf Championship (WGC) event of 2020.
This will be the fourth staging of the Mexico Championship, hosted once again by Chapultepec Golf Club.
The leafy, parkland course has been in existence for more than 90 years and is situated around six miles west of Mexico City centre.
Although greenside water is only a concern on three holes - with two of these being par-3s - the tight tree-lined fairways must be navigated with both accuracy and respect.
There are plenty of subtle changes in direction between tee and green, so good course management is important - just as it was at Riviera last week.
Chapultepec, which has hosted Mexico's national open 18 times but only once during the last 25 years, has undergone a couple of revamps during its life.
At more than 7,000 feet above sea level, the ball travels further than normal in this rarefied atmosphere.
Big-hitting Dustin Johnson has triumphed here twice, with Phil Mickelson once.
Even the tournament's three runners-up, Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood and Justin Thomas, can all crack a long ball off the tee.
Check out latest betting ahead of this week's WGC-Mexico Championship
However, it won't all be about power this week because the Poa Annua putting surfaces are fast and undulating, and certainly require plenty of attention.
Solid ball striking is essential at a tight venue where even the slightest mistake is likely to be gobbled up by one of Chapultepec's many wooded areas.
In other words, to win here, a golfer will need to have all parts of his game in good working order by the time he tees-up in Thursday's opening round.
Seven members of the world's top-10 are in attendance, with the two high-profile absentees being Brooks Koepka and Tiger Woods.
World No 1 McIlroy goes again, following last week's disappointment when a triple-bogey seven at Riviera's fifth hole on Sunday severely damaged his chances of victory in LA.
Justin Thomas, whose three previous trips to Chapultepec have all yielded top-10s, will be among the leading contenders in Mexico.
Meanwhile, Adam Scott will be seeking a third straight win - albeit his back-to-back successes at Royal Pines and Riviera were separated by eight weeks.
Among those whose solid tee-to-green games should certainly find Chapultepec accommodating are: Sergio Garcia, Hideki Matsuyama and Xander Schauffele.
Bryson DeChambeau had a strong week at Riviera, while a rejuvenated Lee Westwood may enjoy his journey to Mexico City having regained a spot inside the world's top 50 following victory in Abu Dhabi last month.
And if you are searching for an outsider to challenge the big boys, and maybe snatch some each-way cash, then 23-year-old Collin Morikawa might be your man.
Morikawa has made a decent start to 2020, following on from last year when he secured a maiden victory in what was only his ninth start on the PGA Tour.
Twitter: Andy Swales@GolfStatsAlive
|Sung Jae Im||MC||34||36||10||21|
|Byeong Hun An||9||68||MC|
|Erik van Rooyen||MC||MC||37||12||22|
|Tae Hee Lee||MC||52||MC||28||15|
|Sung Jae Im|
|Byeong Hun An||45||48|
|Erik van Rooyen||36|
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