The first World Golf Championship of the year takes place in Mexico as Club de Golf Chapultepec hosts the tournament for a third time.
The Mexico City course is 7,500 feet above sea level meaning balls will be flying for miles this week, which should mean the advantage the longer hitters usually have will be slightly reduced.
Apart from world number one, Justin Rose, all the big guns are out in force and here are the thoughts of our golf expert and his best bets ahead of the first day’s play tomorrow.
Thomas fancied to bounce back after Sunday horror show
For the vast majority of those watching the final day of the Genesis Open at Riviera last weekend, they would have fancied Justin Thomas to close out the tournament with relative ease. The Kentucky native had surged into a four-stroke lead after three virtually flawless rounds and for punters (myself included), he looked home and hosed.
However, some errant drives (he only hit three fairways in the fourth round) and some very dodgy putting, most notably a four putt on the 13th cost him his 10th PGA Tour victory.
With this in mind, many punters would automatically be put off by JT this week, but I simply don’t see Thomas as a guy who will let last week’s final round implosion affect him. In fact, it might almost inspire him.
His form at Chapultepec could hardly read any better with a fifth-place finish in 2017 followed by losing in a play-off to Phil Mickelson last year. The 25-year-old has top-three finishes in three of his last four starts and if he’s over last week, he has to go close again.
Xander primed for another tilt at a WGC
Not to sound like a broken record, but my second selection is one of my favourites and for those who are regular readers of this blog will know Xander Schauffele did us a favour when winning the Tournament of Champions earlier this year at a juicy price.
The current FedEx Cup leader has been super consistent since his win in Hawaii with three top-25s and although he never really got going last week at the Genesis, he still glided to a tie for 15th.
The San Diego resident is no stranger to winning big tournaments having won the WGC HSBC Champions in China last year which followed his win in the Tour Championship the season before, meaning he won’t feel out of place in a field of this quality.
He finished in a tie for 18th here last year and if it hadn’t been for a poor weekend, he would have been right in the mix. He looks a great bet for a top-10 finish at 15/8, while he’s also more than worth each-way support in the outright market at 20/1.