The PGA Tour travels south of the border this week for the WGC-Mexico Championship, where the top 72 golfers will play in a high-money event. Even with a lucrative payday in the offing, several star golfers, including Tiger Woods, Brooks Koepka, and Patrick Cantlay are choosing to skip this event.
There are two high-profile golfers, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, who elected to play, and they’re the two favorites to win the event. McIlroy is at 6/1, while Johnson is at 8/1.
Those are two golfers that gamblers might want to wager on, though there is one long shot player who could be worth a flyer. Here are the players we like to play well in Mexico, and those whose games we think might suffer the wrath of Montezuma’s revenge.
Golfers to Back
Dustin Johnson 8/1
Johnson has quietly been playing some solid golf so far this year. The defending champion of this event also won at Club de Golf Chapultepec in 2017. He finished tied for seventh in 2018. With two wins in three years in Mexico, it’s obvious he is comfortable on this golf course. This year, Johnson has posted three, top-10 finishes in four events, including a second at the Saudi Invitational.
Rory McIlroy 6/1
For the third time in as many tournaments, McIlroy is the favorite. He was the 7/1 pick at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, and was the 8/1 favorite at last week’s Genesis Invitational. He finished tied for third at the Farmers, and tied for fifth at the Genesis. He is the No. 1 player in the world, and is too good not to win. The WGC-Mexico could be the place. He finished second last year to Johnson, and could easily take this event this week.
Tommy Fleetwood 25/1
Fleetwood makes an interesting long shot this week. The only concern we have is that the Englishman has finished worse in this event each year he’s played. In 2017, he was second. In 2018, he tied for 14th, and last year, he tied for 19th. This is his first PGA Tour event this season, but in two events on the European Tour (Dubai Desert Classic, HSBC Championship), he finished tied for 11th and tied for second.
Golfers to Avoid
Patrick Reed 40/1
Reed has been struggling this season. The former Masters champion endured controversy on the golf course in December, and it’s hounded him since. After a tie for second at the Tournament of Champions, he missed the cut at the Sony Open. Reed went overseas and played in the Saudi Invitational, where he again missed the cut. A tie for 51st at last week’s Genesis Invitational doesn’t help his case for a bet in Mexico.
Justin Thomas 10/1
Thomas has a strong record at this event, finishing tied for fifth, second and ninth. What we don’t like is his record in his last two PGA Tour events. He missed the cut at last week’s Genesis, where he hit just five greens in regulation. He also missed the cut at the Sony Open. He did win the Tournament of Champions, and tied for third at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, but we’re a little skittish on recommending him this week.
Webb Simpson 20/1
Simpson is another golfer we are shy about backing. His schedule is the biggest red flag, having only played two tournaments this year. He won the Waste Management Phoenix Open three weeks ago, but hasn’t played since then. Is this a strategy of quality over quantity? It might work, but we’re worried that he may be rusty after a relatively long layoff.