For the first time, this WGC event will be hosted at Club de Golf Chapultepec in Mexico City, as the event has moved from Trump Doral in an undeniable twist of irony. Because this is the first time the event will be played in Mexico City, Tom and I are going to go with a different format for picks. Instead of our tiered breakdown, we are going to do a little bit of a round table discussion about what should be a really interesting WGC event.
At first glance this course is long (par 5’s of 625 & 622, and par 3’s of 235 & 225), however it also has short par 4’s sprinkled throughout. Additionally, at 1+ miles of elevation, how do you attack this course? And does this give an advantage to the bombers?
Jon: At first glance early in the week, I thought this was going to be a bombers paradise based on yardage alone. Then I read a little physics about altitude and its affect on drag and magnus force, and suddenly had a change of heart. The best way I can put this is that in higher spots on the course there is less air resistance, making the balls retain speed at a higher rate throughout their flight. Additionally, they are playing in Mexico, which means it will get hot, which reduces the air density even more. The big takeaway being that bombers will have a slight advantage in reaching some of the shorter par 4’s, but it will be to a negligible degree. BIG, big takeaway — your short iron players are the guys to target.
Tom: I do not want to read into this too much – when you look at Jon’s description, I focus on the word negligible because it just seems like there are too many variables. When I looked through the course breakdown on PGATour.com (a good practice that is accessible information to everyone), what stuck out to me most was how tight a lot of the holes look. So maybe total driving (a stat that measures driving distance + driving accuracy). Rickie Fowler is obviously driving the ball well, Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose also come to mind (especially if Stenson can use his favorite club, the 3 wood), and interestingly, Bubba Watson is very accurate off the tee so far this season – but somehow is also in terrible form, so he would be a risky play to consider.
Since this event consists of the top golfers in the world, can you take a flier on just about anyone?