You can almost sense the Masters approaching as we come to the first World Golf Championship of the year. The WGC Mexico 2019 is the tournament this week and it has naturally attracted most of the game’s best players.
JB Holmes’ methodical style of play earned him the Genesis Open title on Sunday and a jump of 58 places in the world rankings but who is in the frame for glory this week?
For once, Dustin Johnson (+1000 or 10/1 with the Bovada betting site) is removed as favorite by the US-facing bookies but DJ remains highly fancied in what is a tight market at the top. Justin Thomas (+900) leads the way this time with Johnson only fractionally behind while Rory McIlroy (+1100 or 11/1) follows in a close leading pack.
Thomas lost out to Phil Mickelson in a playoff last year but Johnson is a two-time winner of the WGC Mexico with his most recent win coming in 2017. DJ also leads the power rankings with an average score around this course of just 67.75.
We are still not convinced of Rory’s position at the top of this WGC Mexico outright winner betting market but three top 5 finishes in his last three starts offers a hint of a return to his very best.
Jon Rahm (+1600) sneaked into the top 10 on Sunday and there is support from the Spaniard as he heads the chasing pack. That was his sixth straight top 10 finish and after a tie for third here last year, Rahm is a genuine contender at a reasonable price.
Bryson Dechambeau (also at 16/1) is very much a form horse and he is second on Tour in adjusted scoring which could be useful this week. However, Bryson is making his debut in this event and in a strong field, that could count against him.
Two multiple winners are also in the mix with Phil Mickelson (28/1) in form and aiming for a third WGC Mexico title. That record withers in the face of Tiger Woods (+1800) who has won seven times – most recently in 2013. Elsewhere, the sportsbooks are reporting some interest in Xander Schauffele (20/1) who has the game, but not necessarily the form or history on this course to deliver.
JB Holmes wasn’t particularly great to watch last week but he proved that big winners can continue to emerge from the outside bunch. At the head of the outsiders this week is Marc Leishman (33/1) whose tie for fourth at the Genesis Open was his fifth top 4 finish from his last seven starts.
The quality in this field is underlined by long prices next to the likes of Tony Finau (33/1), Paul Casey (33/1), Jordan Spieth (28/1), Patrick Cantlay (33/1) and Bubba Watson (33/1) to name just five. Watson is particularly interesting and while he may look unfancied this week, the powerful left hander is a three-time runner up at the WGC Mexico and finished in a creditable tie for ninth in 2018.
There’s a strong European contingent including Tommy Fleetwood (+3300 as well) who was a runner-up two years ago. It will also be interesting to see how the English pair of Matt Wallace (75/1) and Eddie Pepperell (175/1) transfer Stateside. They claimed five European Tour trophies between them last season and while Pepperell is easing his way in after a back injury, Wallace could certainly provide a strong challenge.
Others to consider in this section could include Webb Simpson (33/1), Chez Reavie (100/1), Francesco Molinari (45/1), Patrick Reed (also +4500) and Matt Kuchar (50/1). It really is a strong field but what will it take to find a winner?
Our Preview’s WGC Mexico Course & Betting Trends with Predictions & Picks Verdict
We are returning to the Club de Golf Chapultepec in Naulcapan for the third year in succession so regular visitors should now be getting used to this course. It is a par 71 but a testing one and unlike many other venues on Tour, it plays almost to its average.
The high elevation at around 7,500 feet sees the ball fly through the air to greater extents so calculating distances can be tricky. High winds can be one of the biggest challenges to accuracy but it should perhaps be playing lower than those scoring averages suggest.
There is a good trend for multiple winners and while he is yet to get over the line here, the name we keep coming back to is that of Bubba Watson. He is not quite in the sublime form shown this time last year but he is consistent and with a strong record at the WGC Mexico, Bubba is ready to claim the big prize for the first time. Our WGC Mexico predictions are:
- Bet on Bubba Watson to win @ a standout +4400 (44/1) with Bookmaker. He is +3300 with Bovada, BetOnline or Intertops.
- Take Webb Simpson (+275), Paul Casey (+225) and Gary Woodland (+250) for top 10 finishes, all those betting odds are with Bovada.
Matt Harris is a golf and soccer expert for USA Betting. His other area of specialist knowledge is cricket. He is well known in sports journalism and contributes articles to a plethora of big-name websites and media outlets. Titles that he writes or has written for include: Betfair, BetVictor, Unibet & Just Bookies.