Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: 2020 US PGA Tour: WGC Mexico Championship

2020 US PGA Tour: WGC Mexico Championship

Tony Finau Makes A Putt

Tiger Woods’ horrendous week at Riviera basically overshadowed Adam Scott’s long-awaited return to the winner’s circle. The Aussie isn’t resting on his laurels this week and will be competing in the first WGC event of the year. 

2020 US PGA Tour | WGC Mexico Championship
Club de Golf Chapultepec, Mexico City, Mexico
Thursday 20 February 2020 - Sunday 23 February 2020

Originally known as the WGC American Express, this event started life back in 1999. It was originally split between American and Europe, though Doral became its regular home in 2007. Tiger Woods dominated this event in his pomp, laying siege to all of the WGC events. Donald Trump’s ill-advised revamp of Doral was met with cries of derision by players, leading to the 2017 switch to America’s southern neighbours. This incurred the wrath of Trump, warning players to take out life insurance when visiting Mexico. Despite his infantile imaginings, this event has proved to be a success and is now the critical first stop on the WGC circuit.

Club de Golf Chapultepec is a grand old Mexican course that opened way back in 1928. It was designed by Scottish brothers Willie and Alex Smith. It has hosted many Mexico Opens and bears various similarities to last week’s venue: Riviera. The tree-lined fairways are comprised of kikuyu grass and the greens are a mixture of bentgrass and poa annua. This is a classical course that looks a monster at 7,345 yards. But that figure is rather deceptive as this course plays significantly above sea-level. Stats over the last few years seem to suggest that distance slightly edges out accuracy around this course. But no one particular stat leaps out this week: a good, solid all-round game is required to succeed at Club de Golf Chapultepec.

Dustin Johnson may sit second in the markets, but there is no doubt that he enters this week as the theoretical favourite. The Texan has won this event twice in three instalments. He - like favourite and World Number One Rory McIlroy - will feel slightly deflated after fading in Sunday’s final holes at Riviera. McIlroy is playing hyper-consistent golf and won the last WGC event. With Koepka and Woods missing in action this week, it will be up to the likes of Johnson, Thomas and Simpson to lead the American charge. There is strong European representation this week, with Jon Rahm and Tommy Fleetwood standout names. And don’t forget last week’s winner Adam Scott, who actually own this event when it was last staged at Doral.

Past Winners
2019: Dustin Johnson (-19)
2018: Phil Mickelson (-16)*playoff
2017: Dustin Johnson (14)
2016: Adam Scott (-12)- Doral
2015: Dustin Johnson (-9)- Doral

Outright Betting (To Win)
Rory McIlroy (13/2)
Dustin Johnson (7/1)
Jon Rahm (10/1)
Justin Thomas (10/1)
Webb Simpson (18/1)

Value Bets

Rafa Cabrera Bello
To Win (75/1), To Place (16/1)

Tommy Fleetwood pointed out that this course has a very European feel, reminding him of playing on classical courses in Italy. As such, I’ve decided to opt for a highly underrated European player who has a solid tee to green game. Cabrera Bello is in decent form after finishing in a tie for 17th last week at Riviera. Bello says that he feels comfortable at Club de Golf Chapultepec. He speaks the language of the patrons and feels a kinship with the crowds: he finished 3rd here in 2018. I think he makes an attractive proposition in the place markets.

Kevin Kisner
To Win (90/1), To Place (19/1)

Kevin Kisner made his big breakthrough on the WGC, winning last year’s WGC Dell Match-Play event. It heralded an extremely positive run for Kisner that saw him surge in the world rankings. But his form seemed to dip towards the end of the year. But a tie for 7th at the Hero World Challenge in December seemed to flip the switch. His first two starts in 2020 saw him finish in a tie for 14th and a tie for 4th. A missed-cut at the American Express a few weeks back may just be a blip in the road for Kisner, who has finished in the top 30 on all three visits here. Yes, he may not be the biggest from the tee. But the altitude and his unerring accuracy should make up for that this week.

The Man to Beat

Hideki Matsuyama
To Win (20/1), To Place (44/10) 

I’m opting to swerve the very top of the betting market. Though McIlroy and Johnson are in excellent form, they seem slightly short considering their inability to get over the line last week. Matsuyama really started to find his rhythm again towards the end of last season. He surged in the Tour Championship and has started 2020 in encouraging fashion. He followed a tie for 16th at the Phoenix Open with a tie for 5th at Riviera. He actually started to putt well over the weekend! He topped the stats last week in both shots gained off the tee and shots gained tee to green. Hideki had a top 20 here last year and could be poised for another WGC win:  he won the 2017 WGC event at Firestone.  

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