Club de Golf Chapultepec near Mexico City hosts this week’s World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship. The field of 72 includes seven of the top 10 golfers in the Official World Golf Ranking. Nine of the then-top 10 were in attendance for last week’s Genesis Invitational, won by new world No. 7, Adam Scott. Below, we look at the best betting picks for the 2020 WGC-Mexico Championship based on the odds at DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook.
Brooks Koepka (No. 2), Patrick Cantlay (No. 6), and Tiger Woods (No. 9) are three of the high-profile golfers skipping the 2019-20 PGA Tour season’s second WGC event. World No. 1 Rory McIlroy, who won the WGC-HSBC Champions in November, is looking to complete the career “WGC Slam” and improve on his runner-up finish to Dustin Johnson a year ago. Johnson, entering the week ranked fifth in the world, has won this event two of the three years since it was renamed and relocated from Doral, Fla. in 2017 (WGC-Cadillac Championship).
The course: Club de Golf Chapultepec
Chapultepec measures 7,345 yards and plays to a par of 71. It will host this event for the fourth straight year after its relocation to Mexico from Doral Golf Resort. The course is roughly 1.36 miles above sea level, helping to boost ball flight with the course playing much shorter than the listed yardage.
Despite Johnson winning this event by five strokes at 21-under par last year, just seven holes had a scoring average below par. The easiest hole was the 575-yard, par-5 15th at a stroke average of 4.662. There were five eagles and 122 birdies carded against 24 bogeys and five scores of double bogey or worse. The most difficult hole in 2019 was the 525-yard, par-4 eighth at a scoring average of 4.328. It saw just 24 birdies against 93 bogeys and 12 scores of double or worse.
Trees protect against the added distance of the elevation by tightening the fairways. The greens will feature exclusively Poa Annua grass for the third straight week on the PGA Tour before we begin the Florida swing with next week’s Honda Classic and return to the more-predictable Bermuda putting surface.
Key stats to consider for your Mexico Championship betting picks
Prior to Johnson’s winning score of minus-21 last year, Phil Mickelson won with a 72-hole score of 16-under par in 2018 and Johnson finished at minus-14 in his 2017 win. As is common among WGC events, no winner of this event has ranked lower than No. 44 in the world entering the tournament week since it became known as the WGC-Cadillac Championship in 2011.
The stats best suited for Club de Golf Chapultepec are Strokes Gained: Approach, Strokes Gained: Scrambling, Opportunities Gained, Bogeys Avoided, Proximity from 150-175 Yards, and Par 4 Efficiency: 400-450 Yards, according to historical data from Fantasy National. My model is set to courses shorter than 7,200 yards in length in order to more accurately represent the true length of Chapultepec. An edge can be given to those with more consistent success putting on courses with Poa Annua greens.
Mexico Championship betting picks: Sleepers and value bets
Top English player: Paul Casey +380
Casey has fared extremely well in Mexico with a T-3 finish in 2019 following a T-12 in 2018 and T-16 in 2017. The 22nd-ranked golfer in the world has the second-best odds among his countrymen, trailing only world No. 11 Tommy Fleetwood (+170). Fleetwood was the runner up here in 2017, but he slipped to T-14 in 2018 and T-19 last year.
Casey is third by the overall stat model and ranks second in the field in SG: Approach on these shorter courses. He averages more DraftKings fantasy points on courses shorter than 7,000 yards than anyone in the field, according to FanShareSports.com. He has lost between 3.5 and 6 strokes per round putting in three of his last four events, but he gained 4.1 strokes per round with the flat stick at this event last year.
Straight forecast: 1. Rory McIlroy / 2. Dustin Johnson +5000
Flipping last year’s finishing position gets us profitable odds on two of the top-five golfers in the world. Johnson to win and McIlroy to finish as the runner up for the second straight year comes with odds of +4000 as the lowest straight-forecast number. McIlroy skipped the 2018 event following a T-7 finish in 2017.
The No. 1 golfer in the world stumbled to a T-5 finish last week after entering Sunday’s final round as a co-leader. It was his worst finish in five PGA Tour events dating back to his T-19 at the BMW Championship ahead of his Tour Championship win. Last week was his worst putting performance in his last five measured events.
Outright: Sergio Garcia +5000
Sergio has fared well in three appearances in Mexico. He tied for sixth last year, seventh in 2018 and 12th in 2017. He enters this week ranked 42nd in the world following a T-37 finish last week. It was his first appearance in North American since The Northern Trust in mid-August. Garcia ranks 13th by the stat model with strengths in SG: Approach and Bogeys Avoided. He lost four strokes per round putting last week, but he was 10th in the field in SG: Tee-to-Green.
Outright: Tyrrell Hatton +10000
Hatton will be playing his first competitive event in nearly three months since a 46th-place finish at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai in late November. It followed his victory at the Turkish Airlines Open, which marked his fourth career professional win since the start of 2016. The 35th-ranked golfer in the world hasn’t played a PGA Tour event since the WGC-HSBC Champions, and his last appearance in North America was The Northern Trust.
The top-heavy field is greatly suppressing Hatton’s odds to win. He finished alone in 10th place in 2017, tied for third in 2018 and tied for 19th last year. He’s also a fine play for a top-5 finish at FanDuel Sportsbook with +1600 odds, as he shakes off the rust at a course where he has played well.
Mexico Championship betting picks: Our winner
Adam Scott +1800
The difficulty of going back-to-back on the PGA Tour seems to be keeping Scott’s odds higher than they should be. He’s the fifth-best golfer in the field by the OWGR, but he has just the seventh-best odds to win this week at DraftKings. His Genesis win followed up his Australian PGA Championship victory to conclude his 2019 season. He also went back-to-back with his WGC-Cadillac Championship win in 2016 coming the week after victory at the Honda Classic.
His lone appearance in Mexico thus far was a T-45 in 2017, but he ranks 11th by the stat model. Only two golfers in last week’s field gained more strokes per round on approach than Scott, according to Data Golf.
This article was originally published on Tuesday. Odds subject to change.