WGC-Mexico Championship: Spieth to return to form

WGC-Mexico Championship: Spieth to return to form

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The PGA Tour ventures south of the border this week for the second staging of the WGC-Mexico Championship, an event previously sponsored by Cadillac and staged from 2007-16 at Doral.

Located less than 10 miles from downtown Mexico City, Club de Golf Chapultepec was completed in 1921 before being renovated in 1972, since when Ben Crenshaw (1981) and Jay Haas (1991) were among the winners of the Mexican Open.

The par-71 layout measures 7,330 yards, but with the highest part of the course more than 7,800 feet above sea level, the ball will be travelling a long way and judging distances is going to be a major factor. For example, Rory McIlroy revealed he hit an eight iron 210 yards in practice last year.

Tommy Fleetwood gave us a superb each-way return last year after finishing second behind Dustin Johnson at 125/1, with 11 European players in the top 20.

Understandably Fleetwood is just 16/1 this time around after winning the Race to Dubai in 2017, defending his title in Abu Dhabi in January and finishing fourth in the Honda Classic last week.

And although he has proved more than capable of stringing a number of good results together, our first selection is former world number one Jordan Spieth at 11/1.

Spieth finished 12th last year but notably carded a course-record 63 in round three which got him within five shots of the lead before a disappointing closing 71.

The three-time major winner has not been at his brilliant best so far this season but was ninth in the Genesis Open on his last start, an event which also has kikuyu grass from tee-to-green with poa annua on the putting surfaces.

It is tempting to remain at the top of the market given that defending champion Johnson is favourite ahead of Honda Classic winner Justin Thomas, who led after 54 holes in 2017, while 11/1 shot Jon Rahm was third last year.

However, in search of some greater value we’re going to hope European success continues with Holland’s Joost Luiten available at 80/1 in the each-way market.

Luiten was a modest 25th last year, but ranked 1st in greens in regulation and comes into this week on the back of his victory in the NBO Oman Open, his sixth European Tour title.

Also worth backing in the each-way market is China’s Li Haotong, who could not have been more impressive in holding off McIlroy to win the Dubai Desert Classic at the end of January.

Perhaps unsurprisingly he missed the cut the following week in Malaysia and a closing 75 in the Genesis Open took the gloss of a promising first three days, but at 100/1 the talented 22-year-old is worth chancing.

And finally, Mexico’s Abraham Ancer could reward a small bet in the each-way market at a massive 500/1. Ancer graduated from the Web.com Tour last season with seven top 10s and recorded another on the PGA Tour in the OHL Classic.

WGC-Mexico Championship betting tips

Jordan Spieth @ 11/1

Joost Kluiten @ 80/1 EW

Li Haotong @ 100/1 EW

Abraham Ancer @ 500/1 EW

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