For those who missed it, please check out the 2020 WGC – Mexico Championship Preview and Betting Strategies on what types of golfers to target this week for your bets.
With that in mind, here’s who I like this week at Club de Chapultepec (with odds courtesy of MyBookie.ag):
Pre-Tournament Futures Odds (with Top 10 Prop Odds)
Justin Thomas – 10/1 (-135): In a full field tournament I never like taking odds this short, especially when Thomas is coming off such a bad and uninspiring performance. But I think what we saw at Riviera is an outlier and one bad week doesn’t mean he’s suddenly in the weeds. He’s still one of the best ball strikers in the world tee to green.
I can’t take credit for this analogy, but Andy Johnson of the Fried Egg said something about Thomas that’s stuck with me and has changed how I view him as a player. He said that Justin Thomas is probably the best player out on the driving range. In perfect conditions he can hit all the shots and blow everyone away, but on golf courses that aren’t exactly straight forward he can struggle. I think at Riviera Thomas was exposed as just that, and when you put a firm, fast and difficult golf course in front of him he won’t live up to expectations. That’s not Club de Chapultepec, a place where there are no tricks or frills and he’s freed up to let his natural talent take over. Look for him to bounce back and be in a great spot for his third win of the season.
Xander Schauffele – 25/1 (+150): If Xander has burned you one too many times, I get it. But keep in mind that the problem with Xander right now is not his ball striking, as he’s gained 25 strokes on the field tee-to-green over his last 13 ShotLink measured rounds. It’s his putter that’s holding him back, and his woes with the flat stick were on full display at Riviera. I don’t have the exact figure in front of me, but if you go looking through his Shot Tracker you’re going to see a lot of putts he missed inside 5 feet on the week. It’s also important to keep in mind that despite his struggles putting, he did rank 48th in Strokes Gained – Putting in 2019, so he has it in him. Eventually it’s going to bounce back. Maybe it’s at a golf course that he’s gained 1.92 strokes per round on the field in his career.
Bryson DeChambeau – 28/1 (+210): Caution to the reader – I have a bad track record trying to handicap Bryson. Anytime I seem to back him he tanks in spectacular fashion (see TPC Scottsdale). And anytime I want to fade him he has a great performance like he did last week at Riviera.
The problem with trying to handicap Bryson is his body transformation is basically a swing change. He’s still getting used to understanding how his body mechanics work as he swings a golf club. Up until last week, while he was mashing it off the tee everything else was a bit of a mess. At Riviera, however, he gained 6.8 strokes on the field with his approach shots and scrambling.
Has he figured it out? Only he knows. But if he has worked those two areas out and can combine it with his suddenly elite length off the tee, he can bomb and gouge the golf course like Dustin Johnson has. I’m willing to take that chance at his 28/1 price this week.
Sergio Garcia – 35/1 (+300): While MyBookie.ag has this price at 35/1, I’ve seen his odds at 40/1+ on other places this week. Regardless of the price, Sergio squandered a solid ball striking performance at Riviera with a bad putting performance. Those are the players bettors want to gravitate towards the following week, especially when they play a golf course they’re comfortable at. Sergio has gained 2.73 strokes per round in 12 career rounds at Club de Chapultepec and has finished no lower than T12. While I don’t love the price offered by MyBookie, he’s still worth a look given the factors above.
Others to Consider (with Top 20 Prop Odds)
- Louis Oosthuizen – 45/1 (+110): The only American fans who’ve seen Louis hit a golf ball on their television screens are early morning risers and insomniacs. This is the first time Louis has played a tournament in North America since the 2019 Tour Championship, but in that time he’s amassed five Top 6 finishes in eight worldwide starts and has shown great ball striking numbers on the European Tour. He’s capable of translating that to a golf course that rewards long and straight shots like he can produce.
- Bubba Watson – 501/ (+125): Bubba was a massive dud at Riviera, but his problems were with a putter that suddenly turned cold. That helped squander over 1.5 strokes gained tee-to-green per round before he missed the cut. Like Riviera, Club de Chapultepec has kikuyu fairways and poa annua greens and he has gained 1.4 strokes per round on the field in his career there. The market may have been one week too early on him.
Other Props and Matchups
Paul Casey Top 10 – +250: For the second tournament in a row, Casey let a disastrous final round ruin what had been a solid tournament for him. Casey was awful on Sunday yet again when he posted a final round 75 to sink to a T37 finish at Riviera. And once again he squandered a great ball striking week with a terrible putting performance. At some point it has to reverse itself, and it could happen at a place he’s gained just under 2.5 strokes per round in his career. While ultimately I think the putter will prevent him from winning, I expect a return to the Top 10 for Casey this week.
Sebastian Munoz Top 20 – +350: Munoz has never played this tournament before but he has enough length in his arsenal to have an advantage over the field. In addition, his ball striking numbers tee to green have been solid all year and he’s been putting well. I have a hunch he’ll be a surprise addition to the top half of the leaderboard by the end of Sunday and could squeak out a Top 20 finish out of it.
Collin Morikawa -125 over Matt Kuchar: Morikawa has never played this tournament before but he’s played in fields just as strong as this one and showed well, so that shouldn’t be held as a demerit against him. Any player who shows as good of ball striking tee-to-green as he has should be good just about anywhere. Conversely, Kuchar had a tremendously hot putting week at Riviera but was fairly pedestrian tee-to-green. That should come back to bite him this week, and I expect Morikawa ultimately to best him one on one.
Rory McIlroy -120 over Dustin Johnson: Everyone, and I mean everyone, is picking Dustin Johnson this week. He’s won this tournament twice and has gained over 4.2 shots on the field every time he’s stepped onto the first tee at Club de Chapultepec. But something just doesn’t look right with him so far this year. He’s gaining the majority of his strokes scrambling and putting and been pretty pedestrian off the tee and with his irons. That’s not the Dustin Johnson we’re used to seeing. Call it a hunch he disappoints a bit this week and Rory bests him on the leaderboard.