The golf calendar continues this week, with the likes of Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson set to battle it out at the World Golf Championships in Mexico.
It’s one of four WGC events on the 2020 PGA Tour schedule, with the next coming in March at the Dell Technologies Match Play.
But all eyes will be on the Club de Golf Chapultepec course. It’s the fourth time the event will be played in Mexico, after being held in Florida for the previous ten years.
The competition comes off the back of The Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club in California. Australian Adam Scott held off competition from Scott Brown, Sung Kang and Matt Kuchar to clinch victory.
But several of the sport’s stars have turned down the opportunity to play. They will either take a break or work on their game elsewhere as the Majors period rapidly approaches.
One notable absentee will be Tiger Woods. The 44-year-old carded a disappointing 11+ at The Genesis Invitational, and may not return to action until The Honda Classic at the end of the month.
Others declining their invitation include world number six Patrick Cantlay and number twelve Justin Rose. Also missing are Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson and Jason Day.
Not only is the course much different than the usual PGA Tour events due to its high elevation – where shots often travel 15% further than at sea level due to lower atmospheric pressure – but all of the above have either a really poor track record there, or have never played at the event.
The winner will receive world ranking, FedExCup and Olympic points, which is perhaps why the likes of McIlroy and Johnson will be in attendance.
The two certainly have history here. Johnson cruised to a five-shot victory in 2019. McIlroy had to settle for second, while Paul Casey, Ian Poulter, and Kiradech Aphibarnrat all tied for third, ten shots behind champion Johnson.
Johnson also set the 72-hole record of 263 last time out. He’s currently 6/1 to secure back-to-back trophies at the event, but finds himself behind McIlroy, who is currently 5/1.
But there will also be several other top stars lining the 7,345 yard, par 71 course on Thursday.
Both Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas are available at 10/1.
And is Scott currently 16/1 to make it two wins in two weeks.
Webb Simpson is also 16/1, with Hideki Matsuyama and Xander Schauffele both 20/1 to win the event. Bryson DeChambeau and Tommy Fleetwood are 22/1, while Colin Morikawa is currently 33/1.
Selected others include Sergio Garcia at 40/1, Shane Lowry at 50/1 and Graeme McDowell at 100/1.
It looks good for Johnson, however, as Americans have won seven of the last nine Mexico Championship events. But McIlroy also has huge incentive to clinch success, as he looks to become the second person behind Johnson to win all four WGC tournaments.