WGC-Mexico Tournament Matchup Bets: Should You Back Tiger at Chapultepec?
Allan Henry, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Rickie Fowler
Here’s a fun game this week: Take a drink every time you hear the word “elevation” during the WGC-Mexico Championship telecast.
Host course Club de Golf Chapultepec, holding this event for the third year in a row, is nearly 8,000 feet above sea level, as soaring tee shots and eye-popping driving distances should once again serve as an underlying subplot.
Like any week, those who bomb it off the tee should own an advantage, though the playing field might be leveled a bit, if and when driver is too much club for those big hitters.
With so many elite players in the limited field, it’s tough to find much value in this one, but here are three tournament matchups I like this week:
Patrick Reed over Francesco Molinari (-115)
While we’re still in awe of Molinari’s performance from last summer, which culminated in his Open Championship win, our what-have-you-done-for-me-lately business has some doubts that he’ll regain that form anytime soon. It’s been five months since Molinari posted a top-20 finish and he doesn’t have a single finish better than T-17 at a WGC in the last two years.
Reed hasn’t exactly been lighting the world on fire, either, but he’s been more consistent at a higher level recently than his opponent in this one.
Jon Rahm over Rickie Fowler (-125)
Here’s a general rule of thumb I like to use: If you’re picking a guy to win a specific tournament, then you might as well pick him to win his matchup bets, too.
Rahm is my favorite play this week (just to steer clear of the DJ/JT chalk), as he keeps knocking on the door of serious title contentions every time he tees it up.
Fowler is fresh off a victory in Phoenix in his most recent start, but he’s followed previous PGA Tour wins with a mixed bag of results: 16-MC-4-30-2. I think he’ll play well, but this is an ultra-tough matchup.
Tiger Woods over Xander Schauffele (-125)
It probably says a lot about the career trajectories of both Woods and Schauffele that they’ve become such frequent matchup opponents from the books. It’s been extremely close, though.
So far this year, Tiger is 1-0-1, besting X-man by one stroke at Torrey Pines and tying him at Riviera. I expect this to be another step in the right direction for him and while I don’t recommend fading Schauffele very often, this feels like a good week to be firmly entrenched in Camp Tiger.
You just might not want to lay any strokes, if recent history tells us anything.