It’s the first World Golf Championship event of 2018 this week. Dustin Johnson is defending champion in the WGC-Mexico Championship at the Club de Golf Chapultepec in Mexico City.

World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship Leaderboard, Preview, TV Times

The best players in the world head for Mexico this week and the WGC-Mexico Championship. Dustin Johnson is defending champion and a strong selection of the world’s top ranked golfers are in the field.

 

Related: Tshwane Open Leaderboard, Preview, TV Times

World Number 1 Dustin Johnson headlines the field in Mexico City but he’ll face strong competition from the likes of Jon Rahm, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose and Rickie Fowler.

Last week’s winner Justin Thomas will look to make it two wins in a row and England’s Justin Rose will be looking to make it two WGC wins in a row after his victory in the WGC-HSBC Champions at the end of last year. If Rose could achieve that feat he would join Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson as the only men to win back-to-back WGC titles.

It may be a strong, select field this week in Mexico but there will be some notable absentees. Rory McIlroy and Jason Day have chosen not to tee it up and Tiger Woods is not eligible to compete.

Although this tournament spent 10 years in Florida as the Cadillac Championship at Doral, it began very much as an international event. The first instalment was hosted at Valderrama in 1999, when Tiger Woods was champion. The event also visited Mount Juliet in Ireland and The Grove in Hertfordshire in 2006.

Last season was the first instalment of the tournament in the guise of the WGC-Mexico Championship. In that event, Dustin Johnson held off the pack to win his first tournament after moving to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking. DJ finished ahead of European stars Tommy Fleetwood, Ross Fisher, Jon Rahm and Thomas Pieters.

Tommy Fleetwood was runner-up last year

Tommy Fleetwood was runner-up last year

The Club de Golf Chapultepec is one of the most historic in Mexico. Willie Smith, 1899 U.S. Open champion was first tasked with laying out a course on land between Mexico City and Naucalpan but plans were hampered by the Mexican Revolution. Smith died in 1916 and his brother Alex too over the construction of the course. It was finished in 1928. The Mexican Open began at Chapultepec in 1944. In 1972 the course was redesigned by Percy Clifford.

At 7,500 feet above sea level, the altitude will be a factor this week – the ball will be flying some 10% further than normal.

Chapultepec Golf

Chapultepec Golf

The weather forecast is set fair for the week. There shouldn’t be any interruptions to play.

Venue: Club de Golf Chapultepec, Mexico City, Mexico
Date: Mar 1-4
Course stats: par 71, 7,330 yards
Purse: $10,000,000
Defending champion: Dustin Johnson (-14)

How to watch the World Golf Championships – Mexico Championship

TV Coverage:
Thursday 1 – Sky Sports Golf from 7pm
Friday 2 – Sky Sports Golf from 7pm
Saturday 3 – Sky Sports Golf from 5pm
Sunday 4 – Sky Sports Golf from 5pm and Sky Sports Main Event from 7pm

Not a Sky Sports customer and want to watch the WGC – Mexico Championship?

Why not buy a Now TV pass? For £7.99 you can get a day pass if you wish to watch one of the rounds or, for just £12.99, you can get a week pass to see the whole tournament.

Buy a Now TV Sky Sports Day Pass for £7.99
Buy a Now TV Sky Sports Week Pass for £12.99

Players to watch:

Defending champion Dustin Johnson will be heavily fancied this week but who else might be in the mix come Sunday afternoon?

Tommy Fleetwood – The Englishman has been playing some great golf recently, including a fourth place last week in Palm Beach Gardens. He was second in this event last year, finishing just a shot back of DJ.

Alex Noren – The Swede has twice been a winner of the European Masters so clearly enjoys playing at altitude. He’s shown great form on the PGA Tour so far this year and was third last week in The Honda Classic.

Phil Mickelson – Tied seventh in this event last year, Mickelson obviously likes the course. He’s been enjoying one of the best runs of form he’s experienced in recent years with top-six finishes in his last three starts, including a tie for second in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Key hole: 16th. At just 403 yards, it looks pretty innocuous on the card. But it’s all uphill and it’s narrow with bunkers and trees guarding the flanks of the hole. The green is on two levels and missing the correct level will leave a testing two putt.