Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: WGC-Mexico Championship
After another rain-soaked week in California, the PGA Tour leaves the West Coast and stops in Mexico for the WGC-Mexico Championship before heading onward for the Florida swing. This event previously stopped at Doral, FL for the World Golf Championship event, but beginning in 2017 it was changed to his current name and location, hosted at Club de Golf Chapultepec on the outskirts of Mexico City. The field is invite-only and, at just 66 golfers, the event does not have a 36-hold cut.
The 7,345-yard par 71 plays quite a bit softer than its length would suggest due to the elevation in this part of the world. The ball really flies here, but power off the tee is mitigated by the course design, which features tree lines on every hole, doglegs on many of them, and blind looks if golfers end up on the wrong side of the fairway. Placement off the tee is more important than distance, both to give yourself a clean look at the pin and to avoid the dangerous kikuyu rough.
Data is pretty lean with just two years' worth of info, but there is still plenty to be gleaned and conjecture is the fun part anyway.
Let's dig into the course and see what stats we can use to build our daily fantasy lineups this week.
Course and Tournament Info
Course: Club de Golf Chapultepec
Tees/Fairways/Rough: Kikuyu grass
Greens: Poa annua
|Season||Par||Yardage||Average Score||Avg O/U Par||Rank|
Readers will note that the poa/kikuyu pairing is a repeat of last week at Riviera. It is not a coincidence that there is significant overlap in the fields. In prior seasons, the Honda Classic was sandwiched between these two events, messing up the kikuyu juju in the process. That made sense when the WGC event was in Doral, but the Tour has smartly moved Mexico up so those coming from Riviera don't have to backtrack after flying to Florida.
Six of the 21 golfers to book a top-10 at Club de Golf Chapultepec over the last two years had a likewise finish at the Genesis a couple weeks prior. Since there are only two years of course history at this new event, try factoring in performance at Riviera for some additional background. Riviera is a much harder overall course, so it follows that strong performers there would feast upon the easier track with similar bones.
Club de Golf Chapultepec also lends itself to comparison to European events, where accuracy off the tee is more often the priority and course management and creativity are premium characteristics. Of those 21 top-10 finishers in 2017 and 2018 combined, 11 were international players.
After a couple washouts in a row, weather does not appear to be an issue this week. The forecast calls for sunny skies and high temperatures in the neighborhood of 80 degrees all four days of tournament play.
These stats have proven vital to success at the WGC-Mexico Championship at Club de Golf Chapultepec.
|Key Stats for the WGC-Mexico Championship at Club de Golf Chapultepec|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Strokes Gained: Par 4s|
|Strokes Gained: Par 5s|
The primary objective off the tee should be to set yourself up for the second shot to get into scoring position. It follows then that strokes gained: approach and opportunities gained would once again pop this week. Top 10 finishers gained an average of 0.91 strokes on approach, compared to just 0.56 off the tee and 0.18 around the green, according to statistics on Fantasy National Golf Club.
It seems obvious that golfers who gain strokes on par 4s and par 5s will do well. And it is obvious because it's correct! The par 5s are L-O-N-G, with the shortest being the 575-yard 15th. Isolating performance on long par 5s isn't a terrible idea, but given the altitude here, the length may be a bit misleading compared to other behemoth par 5s on Tour. On the flip side, the par 4s are relatively short. Six par 4s are 406 yards or shorter, including the tiny 316-yard opening hole that offers a high reward for those willing to attempt to drive it (though most opt for iron off the tee and a wedge in).
Scrambling also sets off the bells this week. With no cut and winning scores in the mid-teens under par in each of the last two years, sometimes the best way to linger through the weekend is just to save par. The kikuyu grass and the penalty for missing the mark off the tee open up chances for big numbers. Golfers who can get up and down and move on should be the target this week.
Course History Studs
Dustin Johnson won the first iteration of this event in 2017 and followed it up with a T7 last year.
Phil Mickelson is the other side of the same coin, as he finished T7 in 2017 prior to his win in 2018.
Justin Thomas shot 62-64 over the weekend last year to force a playoff before ultimately falling to Phil. He was also T5 in 2017.
Mike Rodden is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Rodden also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mike_rodden. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.