GOLF

Gdula's Golf Simulations: WGC-Mexico Championship

Who is most likely to hoist the trophy after the fourth ever event at Club de Golf Chapultepec?

Volatility is the name of the game in golf, and picking winners isn't easy. With fields of 150-plus golfers sometimes being separated by how a putt or two falls each week, predicting golf can be absurdly tough.

We'll never be able to capture everything that goes into a golfer's expectations for a week, but we can try to account for that by simulating out the weekend and seeing what happens.

The Process

I'll keep it simple: I track weekly results from the PGA Tour, the European Tour, and the Korn Ferry Tour.

Using a combination of the OWGR's field strength numbers and datagolf's field strength numbers, I adjust each golfer's score relative to the field. The ultimate goal is to place a score from the Waste Management Open, the BMW International Open, and the Knoxville Open on level playing fields. This adjusted strokes metric lets me see how golfers are performing across all tours.

Their adjusted stroke data is combined with their round-to-round variance to see how the field is likely to perform when playing the event out thousands of times.

Here are the results for the WGC-Mexico.

Win Odds

Golfer Wins FanDuel
Sportsbook
Golfer Wins FanDuel
Sportsbook
Rory McIlroy 13.9% +500 Jon Rahm 8.0% +1000
Justin Thomas 6.8% +1000 Dustin Johnson 6.5% +600
Hideki Matsuyama 5.2% +2000 Adam Scott 4.6% +1600
Xander Schauffele 4.6% +1800 Webb Simpson 4.4% +1600
Tommy Fleetwood 3.5% +2000 Paul Casey 2.6% +3400
Matt Kuchar 2.0% +4100 Bryson DeChambeau 1.8% +2200
Louis Oosthuizen 1.8% +4100 Gary Woodland 1.8% +4100
Billy Horschel 1.7% +8000 Patrick Reed 1.6% +4100
Sungjae Im 1.6% +5000 Shane Lowry 1.4% +5000
Collin Morikawa 1.2% +3300 Matthew Fitzpatrick 1.2% +4100
Marc Leishman 1.1% +4100 Jason Kokrak 1.1% +12000
Jordan Spieth 1.0% +5000 Byeong Hun An 1.0% +8000
Victor Perez 0.9% +8000 Charles Howell III 0.9% +12000
Sergio Garcia 0.9% +4100 Sebastian Munoz 0.8% +15000
Abraham Ancer 0.8% +5000 Robert MacIntyre 0.7% +10000
Cameron Smith 0.7% +10000 Graeme McDowell 0.6% +10000
Corey Conners 0.6% +8000 Brendon Todd 0.6% +12000
Brandt Snedeker 0.6% +8000 Mike Lorenzo-Vera 0.6% +15000


Rory McIlroy (+500) is the odds-on favorite both in the simulations and according to FanDuel Sportsbook, but at +500, there's not enough value to start a betting card there unless you're going to take long shots to balance things out. Based on the tough field and past winners (Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson) and runners-up (McIlroy, Justin Thomas, and Tommy Fleetwood), you’ll want to get access to multiple studs rather than a lot of long shots.

Dustin Johnson has two wins and enters with good form but underperforms the betting odds in the win simulations.

Jon Rahm (+1000) has been so good of late that he deserves attention regardless of the sims, but he actually rates out as a good betting value this week. There's also positive expected value on Hideki Matsuyama at +2000.

Xander Schauffele (+1800), Paul Casey (+3400), and Matt Kuchar (+4100) also fit the bill. This week, a balanced betting card is going to be the preferred way to go, as the 51 golfers priced at +5000 or longer combined to win 25.4% of the simulations.

That being said, Billy Horschel (+8000), Byeong-Hun An (+8000), Victor Perez (+8000), and Jason Kokrak (+12000), Charles Howell (+12000), and Mike Lorenzo-Vera (+12000) deserve some attention for top-10s or top-20s.