Whisper it but this event is the anti Trump venue given ole Don’s dumping by the PGA Tour last year. Kudos for the PGA Tour to then decide to take a prestigious WGC event to Mexico….there were far too many played on US soil. So what Rory was thinking is strange to say the least. We can forgive him his folly and admit we might have even played with Trump out of curiosity given the chance.
So we’ve gone from the super long Doral to an event to be played at 7,500ft – which in theory should bring a lot more players into the mix. Mind Russell Knox had never shot worse than 71 at the Honda and proceeded to miss the cut.
Club de Golf Chapultepec is a 7,330 yard par 71 that is tight and should place an emphasis on good driving mitigated by rough limited to two inches.
Most of the field will never have played here so nothing to go on is quite refreshing. Recent events have gone to by and large fancied players but as always its night on impossible to differentiate between a raft of these with a case for and against all of them. Rory makes his comeback after injury and he’ll no doubt cop some flax…this is Mexico…and while sure he wants to win there will be the inevitable eye on the Masters. Jordan was off last time out after a stunning win but that’s golf. Dustbin heads the market and with Rory at 7,500 ft how far will they hit it?
David Lipsky only made the field on the back of a strong 2nd at the Maybank two weeks ago. Curiously his best finish on the European Tour came at altitude with his sole win at the 2014 European Masters. A travelling American, Lipsky is honing his game on the European Tour and has some solid form behind him with 4 top tens in his last six starts. He could contend and cause a shock.
Emiliano Grillo goes off at a price this week so we just have to be on him. Creeping into a high finish at the Honda he posted a bemusing final round 77 which we will put down to just golf or his new haircut. Grillo is the 28th highest ranked player in the world hits 65% of fairways and 72% of greens. In truth he’s not played well in 2017 but Saturday’s 65 at the Honda signalled a return to the scoring prowess we know he possesses. Forgive him Sunday and he’d be coming here a lot shorter priced player.
Brooks Koepka is playing like he lost a leg recently. Six starts back he won and that followed a 2nd. Since then he’s missed 3 cuts in with a 42nd and a 13th in a restricted filed The clue may be in his tee to green game with a slump in fairways hit and the impact in greens hit. At the Honda this reached a low of 28.57% of fairways hit which came on the back of 35.71% at the Genesis. To follow him in now on a course that looks all over to be placing a premium on driving would appear madness. I would argue that in fact Kopeka might not even have to use his driver much this week given the altitude and his massive power. Equally he is sure to have been working on his driving and is as likely to find something. Pure speculation but this man was going off at 20/1 in fields like this very recently and is now 80/1. Unless he’s injured or forgotten how to play golf this may be the biggest price you’ll get about him for years.