2018 WGC-Mexico Championship Picks, Including the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #isitThursdayyet

In August of 1996, I attended my first ever PGA Tour event, the Sprint International in Castle Rock, CO.  Clarence Rose (wait, who?) won that year in a playoff over Brad Faxon with 31 points.  Points in golf?  Ah yes, I miss me some Castle Pines, and the Stableford format (which still lives on today in an opposite field event later in the summer).  Why do I mention this?  Because Castle Pines was a PGA Tour event played at elevation.  Some pretty serious elevation actually, 6,400 feet to be exact.

And what’s the correlation with this week’s event, the WGC-Mexico Championship you ask?  Well, amazingly this week will be played at an even higher elevation than Castle Pines, with the host course the Club de Golf Chapultepec coming in at a lofty 7,500 feet.  That means that the 7,330 yardage on the card will be reduced to less than 6,700 yards, a mere pitch and putt for these bombers.

It may be playing shorter, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be playing significantly easier.  Ok, well it sort of does.  But, let’s just say that even with doing the math of taking a % percentage off of each shot to compensate for the elevation that you will see lots of puzzled and frustrated looks on the faces of the players this week.

My picks last week at the Honda Classic were so-so, but with a big dud at the top as Lockzilla Rickie Fowler badly missed the cut.  My Semi-Flier Jason Dufner (and his “BOSS” hat) played solid all week and finished t-17th, while my Driver-off-the-Deck BOLD play of the week Harris English finished t-33rd.

Now, let’s hop into some picks for this week:

LOCKZILLA (Last week: Rickie MC)

Paul Casey
Paul Casey
– Obviously lots of chalk in the field this week, but I’m going a bit deeper with my Lockzilla and going with the 40-year-old Englishman (seriously, I can’t believe that he’s 40 already!).  It is beyond shocking to me that he’s only won once ever on the PGA Tour (’09) with as consistent as a ball-striker that he is, and while I don’t necessarily expect that streak to end this week, I do expect for him to continue his very solid play in WGCs where he has 6 straight top 20 finishes.  Casey finished t-16th here last year and just a couple weeks back was t-8th at Pebble, which followed three straight top 20s in the fall.  Look for him to be in contention over the weekend.

SEMI-FLIER (Last week: Dufner t-17th)

Marc Leishman
Marc Leishman
– Scared some gamers off his scent with a surprising missed cut a couple weeks ago at Riviera, but he’s not far removed from solid form a couple weeks prior he was t-8th at Torrey Pines, which wasn’t even his best finish yet of 2018 as he was t-7th at Kapalua in the season opener.  Didn’t tee it up here last year, so he’s a first-timer, but definitely like his chances for a t-15th-ish finish or better this week.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST (Last week: Noren 3rd)

Brian Harman
Brian Harman
– It’s obviously difficult to pick a true BUST in a limited, no-cut field, but just keep in mind that it’s all relative in this spot.  So, for instance this week I’m calling for Brian Harman as my bust, which doesn’t mean that he’ll finish DFL, as obviously there’s no cut to miss (unless he electively WDs).  But, what it does mean is that I don’t expect him anywhere near contention as his hot streak from early this season is over, and I expect him to regress back into being Brian Harman.  Stay away and thank me later.


Adam Hadwin
Adam Hadwin
– The Canuck rallied big time on the weekend two weeks ago at Riviera with a pair of 66s to skyrocket into a t-6th finish, his second finish of t-6th or better in the past four weeks (t-3rd at the CareerBuilder in January).  A steady player who obviously doesn’t have much WGC experience as of yet (first-timer at WGC-Mexico), but his confidence seems to be building by the week and I wouldn’t be surprised whatsoever to see him in the mix this weekend.  Adam Hadwin is your Driver-off-the-Deck BOLD play of the week!


Joel Harrington

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