2019 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 7,800 feet.  That means that the 7,345 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.

Side note- kudos to the PGA Tour for finally getting this schedule thing right. Interrupting the Florida swing for this Mexico voyage the past two seasons made literally no sense. Glad to see that it is now sandwiched between the West Coast and Florida swings, which is much more sensible.

My picks last week at the Genesis Open didn’t produce a winner for the first time in 2 weeks (b2b LOCKZILLA winners the two weeks prior! Rickie and Phil), but they also weren’t too shabby as Lockzilla Dustin Johnson rallied to a t-9th finish after a rough start, Semi-Flier Patrick Cantlay was close behind at t-15th and my Driver-off-the-Deck BOLD play of the week Jason Kokrak was t-37th. Oh yeah, and I spot on nailed Jordan Spieth as my Hosel-Rocket BUST of the week as he ballooned to an 81 on Sunday, en route to a t-51st place finish.

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

LOCKZILLA (Last week: DJ t-9th)

Justin Thomas– What’s the best way to avenge his Sunday meltdown at Riviera? Yep, you guessed it. By teeing it up and winning the very next week. Against a much, much deeper field. Also, don’t forget that it’s double revenge of sorts in that JT lost in a playoff to Phil here last year. Oh yeah, and he was t-5th here the year prior. Safe to say that he kinda likes it here. Lock and load with some JT this week and thank me later.

SEMI-FLIER (Last week: Cantlay t-15th)

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Sergio Garcia– Sergio and his poopy pouty pants arrive in Mexico, fresh off his pathetic, childish, spoiled brat tantrum a few weeks prior in Saudi Arabia. If it were up to me, he’d be suspended and not even allowed to play at the moment. What he did was vandalism, plain and simple. But, because there’s no video of the incident, he got away with a simple apology. Pretty pathetic. Not that I want to root for Sergio and his childish mannerisms, but I do like his chances this week on a course where he’s gone t-12th and t-7th in his first two appearances. Also, add in that he got his first stateside appearance out of the way last week at Riviera = initial media attention/spotlight from the incident are now out of the way and I really, really like his chances to contend this week.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST (Last week: Spieth t-51st)


Rickie Fowler– Yep, ‘ol Rickie still has to be riding high after that WMPO victory a couple weeks ago.  As you know, I was all over Rickie that week and he came through big time.  This week?  Nah, fade train for me.  His past comments about the bumpy green surfaces here coupled with that I-just-won-so-I-probably-didn’t-work-on-my-game-as-much-as-I-should-have-since-then-especially-for-a-no-cut-event mean that he’ll be highly content to just be on cruise control this week, finishing t-32nd or so and calling it good.  

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK (Last week: Kokrak t-37th)

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Alex Noren– The talented Swede has been quiet of late, only teeing it up twice this calendar year thus far (MC at Farmers, t-44th in Phoenix).  So, it’s definitely a bit of a flier pegging him this week, but two things I like about him this week: poa greens (see near win at Farmers Open last year) and he’s highly under the radar.  No question in my mind that he has the talent to consistently be an OWGR top 20 player (currently 25th) and wouldn’t be surprised whatsoever to see him take home a big event like a WGC.  Alex Noren is your Driver-off-the-Deck BOLD play of the week!

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf


 

 

 

 

 

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