I thought that we were treated last week to some early season exciting golf. Looks like we have another good one shaping up out in Mexico City.
Quick back story about this week’s tournament, the WGC Mexico Championship. The WGC used to hold this tournament at Doral in Florida which lined up nicely with the PGA’s “Florida Swing”. Doral is a classic golf course but for whatever reason the golf course had deteriorated to the point where the WGC (World Golf Championship) was mulling over the idea of moving the tournament to another golf course. However, the course was saved. A private investor stepped in and saved the day. He bought the property and began making the necessary improvements. The next year, the course was immaculate. Not only were the conditions pristine, but something happened that is about as common as Haley’s Comet passing by Earth – all the tour players loved the golf course. Not a single player had a negative thing to say about Doral and it seemed like the WGC – Cadillac Championship would stay at Doral for years to come.
Who was this private investor who saved the day at Doral? He was a real estate tycoon, who grew up in Queens, hosted his own reality show, fought with Rosie O’Donnell through the media, was, back then, still an aspiring internet troll, he had tiny hands and orange hair. You guessed it, Donald fucking Trump.
You may remember while Trump was running for the Republican nomination, he made a few comments about Mexicans who were in this country illegally. It was something like yadda yadda yadda all Mexicans are drug dealing rapists and “bad hombres”. A horrific thing to say but looking back it probably doesn’t crack the top 20 most offensive things he said which is really a testament to Donald’s will and perseverance to remain as ignorant and divisive as possible. It’s quite impressive.
Like most of the civilized world, the WGC did not take kindly to Donald’s remarks. In a move that is quite hilarious in my opinion the WGC pulled the Cadillac Championship from Trump Doral and moved it to Mexico City and renamed it the WGC – Mexico Championship. OK, now you’re all caught up.
So now on to the tournament. The course is The Club de Golf Chapultepec and again, it’s located in Mexico City. What makes this a very unique setting for a PGA event is the elevation. Apparently Mexico City is high AF above sea level, about 7,800 feet above sea level. It’s a full 2,000 feet higher than the second highest elevation on tour (Reno, NV). It’s a par-71 but it plays shorter than the distance on the card because of the thin air at that altitude. Altitude is the appropriate term there right? I digress…..
It works out that players can hit the ball about 15% farther then at “normal elevation”. Golf channel had a cool on screen graphic during Thursday and Friday, and I’m sure NBC will hammer it tomorrow, which shows the actual distance, what the yardage is after the 15% adjustment, and then the yardage the shot is actually playing which depends on direction of the wind and whether the shot plays uphill or downhill. Its quite a bit of math and I do not envy those caddies whatsoever.
The golf course is seen as a throwback golf course featuring a lot of old school style themes such as tree lined fairways, blind shots, and well protected greens. The greens have a more modern day feel to them as they are undulating and heavily sloped. It’s a golf course that will reward good shots and punish bad ones. I know how dumb that sounds, like no duh but players who able to hit wedges and low irons to certain spots on the greens will be rewarded with makable birdie attempts. On the other hand, hit it to the wrong spot on a green and a 3 putt will be hard to avoid.
There are three par-4’s on the front nine that are shorter than 385 yards and (because of the elevation) players are able to reach the green from the tee. We’ll see someone go really low early because the front nine really lends itself to scoring.
The most difficult hole on the golf course is the 525 yard par-4 8th hole. It’s the longest par-4 on the golf course and it played almost a full half stroke above par (4.359) last year. The hole is ranked the 12th most difficult hole on the entire PGA Tour calendar which consists of 900 holes to choose from. The hole has trees on both sides that extend the entire length of the fairway and the green, which is multi-tiered, is heavily protected by bunkers. It’s a real son of a bitch.
At last year’s tournament, on the 8th hole, there were only 24 birdies made. Compare that to 104 bogeys, 10 double bogeys, and 3 “others” and that’s a pretty tough fucking hole.