Club de Golf Chapultepec, on the outskirts of Mexico City, 7,345 yards, par 71
Defending Champion, Philip Alfred Mickelson. Defeated Justin Thomas in a playoff on the first hole, parring 17 while Justin was unable to get up and down for par.
Last week: John Bradley “J.B.” Holmes outlasted JT on a brutal final 9 that was extremely difficult with winds kicking up to 30 MPH at the Genesis Open in Pacific Palisades, California. The golfers started at 6:45 Sunday morning to finish their third rounds. JT had a 4 shot lead, but had putting woes on the back side. A 4 putt, double bogey on 13 was painful. In fairness to Justin, he had a 75 foot birdie putt into the wind on the par 4. He left his putt 6 feet short so he had a reasonable shot at par to maintain a 1 shot lead over J.B, who had just converted a miraculous par from the right side of the green on the par 4. He had a difficult chip shot and put it 15 feet and sank the par putt, which was very clutch. Justin stepped over his putt and was noticeably bothered by the wind which kept gusting during his practice routine. He looked to maybe have sunk the putt, but the wind pushed it to the right. He was left with a 3 footer, and lipped that out on the right hand side leaving himself another 3 footer. He sank that but was now trailing J.B. by a shot. J.B, extended the lead to 2 with a par on the 14th and a JT bogey. Justin looked to be right back in it with a chance to tie it on the par 3 16th when J.B, knocked it in the front right trap, and was left with a very challenging up and down. JT put his tee shot 8 feet away. Holmes hit out of the trap and put it 12 feet above the hole. Still outside of Thomas, Holmes cooly sank his par putt. JT came right back and sank his birdie putt, so the lead was down to a shot. A lot of fist pumping, competitiveness going on by this time. On the par 5 17th, JB hit a terrific drive and JT hit it left near a tree. Justin laid up and then hit it about 8 feet on his third shot. JB got his second shot on the green 30 feet away for eagle. JB rammed it by the hole some 13 feet. The greens were lightning fast stimping at 12-13. JB was still out and missed his birdie putt. Justin had a good look at JB’s line as he was inside of JB’s ball. JT hit what looked like a pure putt, but it broke off to the right and JT settled for par. With a 1 shot lead on the challenging 18th. JB left his second shot about 30 feet short on a green that was very difficult to 2 putt if you left it that short. Justin hit what looked to be a pure city second shot. The ball landed 8 feet from the stick, but rolled out to about 25 feet away. Holmes was first and he stroked his putt 2 feet away. Thomas, faced with a must make, couldn’t convert his birdie putt and Holmes tapped in for the victory. It was a tough one for Justin to take, and pretty sweet for JB.
Weather, sunny tomorrow, partly cloudy Friday, chances of rain on Saturday and Sunday. Rain not expected on the course, but lightning could be in the area and cause a few problems. Temperatures 79 Thursday-Friday, 77 Saturday-Sunday. Winds 8-16 Thursday-Friday, 6-12 Saturday-Sunday, so somewhat of a factor.
Thursday-Friday, 1-6 PM CT, Golf Channel; Saturday 11 AM-1:30 PM CT, GC; 1:30-5 PM CT, NBC; Sunday, 11 AM-12:30 PM CT, GC,; 12:30-5 PM CT, NBC
The lowest elevation at Club de Golf Chapultepac is 7,603 yards and the highest is 7,835, so there will be some bombing going on. Justin Rose said the key though is hitting a high ball and letting it get into the altitude and carry. Does favor the DJ’s, the Rory’s, the JT’s, the Fowler’s, Tiger too, who is still very long and has won 18 WGC titles. Dustin is the only one to win at all 5 venues as he’s won the WGC-HSBC in Shanghai in 2013, the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral in 2015 (why did Trump have to ruin playing at that venue?), the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational n 2016 and the WGC-Mexico in 2017. Tiger’s won everywhere else except for Mexico. This will be his first time teeing it up there.
No.1, 316 yards, par 4. Reachable for the bombers pretty easily unless the wind is into their faces. The green is difficult though, so birdie is not a cinch. But there will be plenty of birdies here.
No. 8 525 yards, par 4. It’s the second longest par 4 on the tour outside of the 17th at the Plantation Course at Kapalua for the Sentry Tournament of Champions. It ranked as the most difficult hole on the course last season. It only yielded 15 birdies over the 4 rounds of stroke play. The stroke average was 4.277.
No. 15, 575 yards, par 5. The last par 5 on the course, it is played entirely uphill with a slight turn to the right. Good birdie opportunity, but the second shot is narrow and there are 4 levels to the green, so the player who goes for it or lays up, needs to hit it on the right tier in order to 1 putt. With the wind, it may be difficult to hit this green in 2.
No. 17, 172 yards, par 3. Players will use a mid to short iron. The green is protected by a lake that covers the entrance and the left side. There is a bunker on the back right and another one on the left bordering the water. Good opportunity for birdie, but players need to not get too greedy or they could be wet or in the sand. Justin lost to Phil on this hole in the playoff last year as he couldn’t get up and down for par from behind the green. Phil 2 putted for the par to win.
No.18 388 yards, par 4. Another uphill hole that curves to the left. The tee shot is very narrow as the players will need to avoid the trees on either side along with a bunker on the right they’ll have to avoid. The second shot it uphill and there are 2 deep bunkers guarding the entrance. JT holed it out here last year on his way to a 64 Sunday. With his hole out eagle on his second shot, he finished with a 64 and took Phil to a playoff.
I’m going back to the well. Second here last year and second last week both in heartbreaking fashion, I like the 25 year old to snap back this week into the winner’s circle. He’s resilient and tough minded. Quite possibly the best player on tour right now. Justin Rose and Dustin Johnson compete, but I like this guy’s overall game the best if his putter is working.
Like the Brit with the interesting hair to play well this week. He finished second to Dustin 2 years ago here, so I like him to be in the hunt with a shot at winning Sunday.
Some awesome stuff from the Dave Matthews Band in Central Park a while back. The fiddler and the sax player are all world. Drummer’s pretty strong , too.