The PGA Tour heads south of the border this weekend for the WGC – Mexico Championship at Club de Golf Chapultepec. The course is a par 71 that’s just over 7,300 yards, but despite this, it plays much shorter, due to an elevation that is over 8,000 feet above sea level. While this sounds like a daunting course on paper, long ball hitters don’t have as much as an advantage this weekend. There are a lot of narrow fairways and tree trouble, so similar to last week, there will be an emphasis placed on solid ball striking and putting. Our key stats to look at this week are strokes gained approach, strokes gained around the green, and strokes gained putting. It’s also important to note that this tournament has a small 64-player field and is a no-cut event.
- Dustin Johnson: $12,800
- Jordan Spieth: $11,900
- Tommy Fleetwood: $11,300
- Pat Perez: $9,300
- Joost Luiten: $7,600
- Dean Burmester: $7,000
Remaining Salary: $100
Dustin Johnson sits at the top of the official world golf rankings and the pricing pool this weekend. Johnson is the reigning champion of this tournament and he is the top play on the board for a number of reasons. While he is mostly known for his driver, Johnson is actually ranked third on the PGA Tour this season in strokes gained around the green and leads the tour in scoring average. This has led to DJ hanging around the top of the leaderboard in every single event, as he has finished second, first, second, and 16th this season. His combination of elite ball striking, crafty short game, and course history makes him the number one option on the board this weekend.
Jordan Spieth hasn’t been the dominant player this season that we’ve grown accustomed to over the past few years, but this seems like a great spot for him to bounce back. While Spieth’s 164th ranking in strokes gained putting is pretty shocking, he still ranks inside the top 15 in strokes gained tee to green. Spieth is an elite iron player that can beat up any course from 100-175 yards out. If his putter can heat up this weekend (it’s only a matter of time), this is a tournament he can easily win because of the emphasis the course places on ball striking.
Tommy Fleetwood was a chalk play last weekend at the Honda Classic and he certainly didn’t disappoint, finishing 4th in tough conditions. Fleetwood’s ball striking stats will be hard to ignore this week, as he pops out in almost every category on the board. He is second in SG: tee to green, 16th in SG: approach, and 12th in SG around the green. His price continues to rise every week, but his form makes him tough to fade here. He should be destined for another top 10 finish.
Pat Perez has had a great season up to this point. He has made all seven of his cuts, finished inside the top five three times, and won the CIMB Classic in Malaysia. Perez isn’t that long off the tee which can sometimes work against him, but this is a tournament where the long ball isn’t required. Perez has a solid all-around game and his ball striking should keep him in contention this weekend. In a deep field, he is likely to go a bit under-owned.
Joost Luiten seems extremely underpriced for someone coming off a win and T11 on the European Tour. There are only 14 players cheaper than Luiten, who is ranked 67th in the official world golf rankings and ninth in the Race to Dubai. Luiten’s 71.0% GIR percentage would rank inside the top 28 on the PGA tour and he finished 25th at this same event last year. He is one of the top values on the board and he should have low ownership.
Dean Burmester is my dark horse this week. Prior to a missed cut at the Maybank Championship, Burmester made five consecutive cuts to start the year on the European Tour. He is a bomber of the ball who averages 306.3 yards off the tee, but he has combined this with an impressive average of 28.9 putts per round. For a player priced at the absolute minimum on FanDuel, Burmester has a ton of upside in tournaments and probably won’t pick up any ownership traction.