Yahoo DFS Golf: WGC-Mexico Championship
Yahoo DFS Golf: WGC-Mexico Championship

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Golf series.

WGC-Mexico Championship

Mexico City, Mexico
Club de Golf Chapultepec - Par 71 - 7,345 yards
Field - 72 Entrants
Purse - $10.25M

The Preview

The West Coast Swing concluded with difficult scoring conditions in lousy weather at Riviera CC, but the PGA Tour now heads for sunny skies and warm temps south of the border in Mexico City for the first World Golf Championship of 2019. This week's field is highlighted by 45 of the Official World Golf Ranking's top-50 players, though No. 1 Justin Rose has elected not to attend alongside Jason Day and Adam Scott to name a few absentees. They'll be sacrificing a portion of the generous $10.25M purse to be split among all 72 entrants as the exclusive field is guaranteed four rounds without a 36-hole cut. As for the venue, the Club de Golf Chapultepec will host the WGC-Mexico Championship for a third straight year. Its 7,345-yard par-71 layout plays much shorter than indicated due to extraordinary altitude, so expect the ball to fly up to 10 percent further. There are six par-4s measuring under 415 yards, so driving statistics abnormally take a back seat as play into and on the greens predicates success.

Recent Champions

2018 - Phil Mickelson
2017 - Dustin Johnson
2016 - Adam Scott
2015 - Dustin Johnson
2014 - Patrick Reed
2013 - Tiger Woods
2012 - Justin Rose
2011 - Nick Watney
2010 - Ernie Els
2009 - Phil Mickelson

Key Stats to Victory

SG: Approach - Managing distance control in the altitude becomes paramount as proximity with short irons and wedges plays a major role

SG: Putting - Phil Mickelson, Justin Thomas and Rafa Cabrera-Bello finished 1-2-T3 on last year's leaderboard, but they also rounded out the top-3 in terms of putting average

Putting inside 10 feet - From Pebble Beach to Riviera and now onto Chapultepec, poa annua greens make an appearance for a third straight week

Birdie or better percentage - Nine entrants reached at least 20 par-breakers and there were 26 total eagles made last year in Mexico City

Yahoo Value Picks - based on $200 salary cap

Cream of the Crop

Justin Thomas - $48

Thomas will be hungry for revenge after Sunday's final round meltdown allowed playing partner J.B. Holmes to tap in for a one-shot victory on the 18th at Riviera. A playoff loss to Phil Mickelson at the WGC-Mexico last year should provide a spark of additional motivation for Thomas as well. The latter has placed third or better in three of four starts to begin the 2019 calendar year, leading the PGA Tour in SG: Approach, SG: Tee-to-Green and SG: Total.

Jon Rahm - $43

Despite playing his last four holes in a combined three-over-par at the Genesis Open, Rahm still managed to finish top-10 for a seventh consecutive event dating back to his T4 at the DP World Tour Championship in November. Residing at No. 6 in the OWGR, Rahm owns the fourth-best betting odds to win this week at 16-1 according to GolfOdds.com. He'll look for continued success with the flat stick after ranking top-12 in SG: Putting and putts per GIR at Riviera CC. Rahm carries an overall score of 18-under-par in two trips to the Club de Golf Chapultepec.

Rory McIlroy - $40

Rory hit his stride during Round 2 of the Genesis when he racked up eight tweeters to zero bogeys en route to an eight-under 63, tying Holmes' first-round performance for the best score of the week. McIlroy rose to contention Sunday before failing to birdie the downwind par-5 and bogeying No. 18, but he nonetheless led the field in SG: Off-the-Tee and GIR percentage throughout the tournament. He's finished top-5 in three straight starts and posted a T7 during his debut at the Club de Golf Chapultepec in 2017.

Glue Guys

Marc Leishman - $33

The Aussie has ascended to 16th in the OWGR with five top-4 results in his last seven showings since a win during the fall series at the CIMB Classic. He most recently added a T4 at Riviera where he broke 70 in all four rounds, collected 19 par-breakers and ranked third in SG: Approach. Leishman has been red-hot with the irons on his way to an impressive mark of 4.92 birdies per round this season.

Gary Woodland - $32

Gamers may see a slight dip in Woodland's ownership given he failed to finish under par in each of his first two trips to the Club de Golf Chapultepec, but he'll be well-rested after electing not to peg it at Riviera. He's also sandwiched between names like Jordan Spieth and Webb Simpson on Yahoo's board, which could favorably work to reduce usage as well. Coming off back-to-back top-10s at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and Farmers Insurance Open, Woodland is up to third in the FedExCup standings and ranks fourth in SG: Tee-to-Green, fifth in GIR percentage, fourth in birdie average and second in par-5 scoring.

Hideki Matsuyama - $30

Matsuyama's price tag doesn't reflect his betting odds after he gained over seven strokes from tee to green at the Genesis, also ranking 12th or better in GIR percentage, scrambling and SG: Off-the-Tee at Riviera. He's placed top-15 in three consecutive events dating to the Farmers Insurance Open, rising to fourth on Tour in SG: Approach and second in SG: T2G.

Bargain Bin

Sergio Garcia - $29

Garcia rebounded from an opening 75 at Riviera by playing his next three rounds in six-under-par, amassing 16 total birdies throughout his final 54 holes of the tourney. The Spaniard struggled with his wedge play around the greens, but was seventh in SG: Approach and eighth in putts per GIR. His recent antics at the Saudi International didn't earn Garcia many fans, so he could be low-owned once again this week at a venue where he's gone T7-T12 the past two years.

Byeong Hun An - $21

During his lone appearance on the PGA Tour to this point in 2019, An gathered 20 par-breakers at TPC Scottsdale where he also ranked 13th in SG: Approach and fourth in SG: Around-the-Green en route to a T20 finish. In 73 measured rounds on Tour last season, the 27-year-old was 15th in SG: Tee-to-Green and 25th in proximity from 125-150 yards. An didn't play in Mexico City this past year, but gained experience at the Club de Golf Chapultepec in 2017 when he placed T48.

Joost Luiten - $20

Since returning to the European Tour from wrist surgery in late October, Luiten has notched six top-30 finishes in seven starts. Noteworthy performances include top-6s at both the Saudi International and Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, climbing to seventh among his peers in stroke average. Luiten is also third in SG: Approach and SG: T2G on the Euro Tour.

Strategy Tips on Yahoo this week

The absence of a 36-hole cut boosts the value of par breakers in DFS formats while slashing conservatism even in cash games. With more than enough value in the $24-$33 salary range, you shouldn't have to stack multiple international players at the very bottom in order to fit a couple elite options near the top.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bryce Danielson
Bryce covers the PGA for RotoWire and provides input on the golf cheat sheet. He also contributes to the coverage for NFL, NBA and other sports.
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