2019 WGC Mexico DFS Preview

JB Holmes was able to grab the win last week at the Genesis after Justin Thomas left the door open on Sunday to cap off an interesting week in Los Angeles on several fronts. We saw a couple stretches of great golf from Tiger, however, playing 30 holes a day took a toll on him and others in the field. This week the PGA Tour goes to Mexico City for the first WCG event of 2019 that will be a welcome change from the rain impacted tournaments of the past few weeks as the forecast calls for sunshine and temperatures in the high 70’s all week. Club de Golf Chapultepec will play host to this event for the third consecutive year, here is our breakdown of this week’s course:

Club de Golf Chapultepec: Par 71, 7,345 yards. The course will be playing at 7,500 feet of elevation this week so the length will play closer to 6,600 yards. In addition to seeing the ball travel about 10% further the altitude will impact ball flight by making it more difficult to curve the ball. Also relating to ball flight, we’ve heard multiple players comment that those who hit a high ball do see a bit of an advantage here. Just like last week at Riviera, the greens are Poa and fairways and rough are Kikuyu with the length of the rough kept short. This course favors placement off the tee over distance as the fairways are narrow and treelined with rows of trees standing only about 5-10 yards from the edge of the fairways. Average altitude adjusted driving distance is slightly less than the PGA Tour average with the fairways and greens being hit at about an average rate. There are several holes that are doglegs or feature overhanging trees so placement onto the correct half of the fairway will be important and we will often see players clubbing down off the tee. The tight layout here is more reminiscent of European Tour golf than the PGA Tour with Golf Club Milan likely being the closest comparable layout. There are plenty of scoring opportunities here as the course features three par fives, one drivable par four, and three very short par fours that may see the bombers in the field attempt to try and get a driver up near the front edge of the green.

In terms of stats, we’ve seen a stronger than average correlation between strong approach play and putting here so I’ll be heavily weighting strokes gained approach and opportunities gained along with strokes gained putting on Poa. Because strokes gained off the tee has been shown to have less importance here, I will be focusing on fairways gained as the primary driving stat this week.

Here are our top stats to consider this week:

  • Strokes Gained Approach
  • Opportunities Gained
  • Strokes Gained Putting (Poa)
  • Fairways Gained

This is a WGC event so we will see most of the world’s best in the field this week for a no cut event. Tiger will make his second consecutive start and first ever at this course. Also making his course debut is Bryson DeChambeau. Other top players in the field include Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler, Brooks Koepka, and Hideki Matsuyama. However, one thing to note this week is the increased likelihood of WD’s. As is the case for all WCG events, once a player tees off on Thursday he will be eligible to receive a check for the week and in the past we’ve seen injured players, who otherwise would not be starting, show up to hit a tee shot then withdraw as well as some big names who get off to a poor start on Thursday and decide to just throw in the towel after a few holes and take the weekend off. It’s nearly impossible to predict if this will occur and who it will be, but this factor, along with the no cut, limited field structure warrants an exercise in caution for the portion of DFS bankroll put into play this week. This week so I will be looking for players with a strong approach game as well as players with a strong global track record as the course is expected to play similar to a Euro Tour event. Here are three targets for your cash game / single entry tournament lineups on DraftKings this week:

Mid-Range – Paul Casey – $8,600

With another strong field this week we are seeing several players that are normally priced in the $9,000 to $10,000 range priced down in the low to mid $8,000’s where it makes sense to load up on that value in cash games. Paul Casey is a great place to start your lineups as he’s one of the best iron players in the game and ranks 5th in the field in strokes gained approach over the past two years at Club de Golf Chapultepec. Casey lost five strokes on the greens last week at Riviera but has historically not been that bad of a putter so some regression there along with continued strong iron play could put him in contention this weekend. 

Mid-Range – Tommy Fleetwood – $8,200

I didn’t write him up in this article last week but Tommy Fleetwood was a part of our Optimal lineup at the Genesis and profiles nicely for us again this week. Fairways and greens are the name of the game for Fleetwood and that bodes well on a course that places a premium on positioning off the tee and strong approach play. He’s played a bit better each of the past two events since he’s begun his PGA Tour schedule and has a 2nd and 14th place finish in two tries at the WCG Mexico. With long-term stats and course history lining up, $8,200 seems too cheap for a player with a strong European Tour and worldwide track record.

Mid-Range – Sergio Garcia – $8,000

While most of the golf world’s most recent memory of Sergio Garcia was the temper tantrum he threw on his way to a DQ in Saudi Arabia, he posted a very solid ball striking week at Riviera, gaining 5.4 strokes on approach that provided us with some Shotlink data to back up the strong form he had been showing overseas prior to the DQ. Along with the good recent approach game form, we’ve seen strong performances from Sergio the last two years with a 7th and 12th place finish at a Club de Golf Chapultepec venue that is similar to some of the Euro Tour courses where he’s seen success. If we see the strong iron play continue this week a top 20 finish with top 10 upside should be attainable.

How we did last week:

Cash/Single Entry Article Plays:

Hideki Matsuyama – T9

Tony Finau – T15

Jason Kokrak – T37

Optimal Sports Subscribers Core Plays:

Hideki Matsuyama – T9

Tony Finau – T15

Adam Hadwin – 75

Keegan Bradley – T51

Charles Howell III – 6

Tommy Fleetwood – T28

Last Week’s DraftKings Double Up Contest Result: Win

2018-2019 Season Double Up Record: 11-4

Record in Double Ups Since 1/1/18: 36-14

Brought to you by Optimal Sports DFS