Course: Club de Golf Chapultepec (used to be Doral, first time this course is being used for an event)
Yardage/Par: Par 71, 7,330 Yards
Scoring Expectation: High. A simple PGATour.com preview reveals that basically the only defense this course seems to have is some tree-lined holes that shouldn’t create too much trouble unless your guys are just insanely wild off the tee. Get ready for a -20 or more winner with no cut.
Greens: Poa Annua (thanks Tour Junkies for retrieving that info!)
Weather: Minimal wind, slight chance of rain Friday PM and a little Sunday. Pretty much ideal scoring conditions.
While I’ll admit that I really enjoyed Doral as a nice challenge for the world’s elite, it is going to be very interesting how the golfers handle a course with a rather large number of unknowns. First of all, Chapultepec appears to be very tight due to the tree-lined tee shots and fairways that punctuate most of this golf course. Will this generate a substantial degree of difficulty this week? Possibly, but I doubt it – the green complexes are just too easy, there’s virtually no wind, and the golfers are playing at altitude (nearly 8,000 feet, higher than Coors in Denver) so the ball is likely to carry much further than normal. Unless these guys spray the ball with reckless abandon, I would say that Chapultepec is tight in much the same way that Augusta is tight – just ignore the trees and play the ball over them.
Second of all, it is widely known that the air quality in Mexico is not ideal. Combine high altitude with poor air quality and you may find that some of these guys get absolutely exhausted over four days. The forecast doesn’t put the temperature much above 80 degrees, so perhaps it will at least be dry, bearable heat. That said, I do not envy any caddie that has to endure those conditions for four straight days (not including practice rounds!)
Finally, there just aren’t a whole lot of courses like this one on the PGA Tour. Most of the courses this tight are not this easy, so it’s really hard to come up with good comparables for this course. However, I still fully expect golfers to take dead aim at the pins and hold these greens without much issue, generally with flip wedge in hand.
FANTASYDRAFT PICKS FOR CONSIDERATION
Dustin Johnson ($23,600, Mostly GPP): Pricing on FD is rather tight this week, so good luck getting DJ to work if you like any of the other elite tier guys enough to bite. However, it’s just hard to go wrong with the #1 player in the world with basically every tool in his kit to perform on any track.
Jon Rahm ($18,500, Cash or GPP): He’s back, and if you’re not a believer by now, I’m not sure what this guy has to do to prove to you that he deserves a spot among the elites of the game. Rahm has been on absolute tear since he came on tour, and I would say he has as much of a chance to win here as anyone.
Matt Kuchar ($16,400, Cash or GPP): Buried beneath all of the hype over the huge names this week will be ho-hum Matt Kuchar, needing very little in the way of length to be effective while still being considered as an upper-tier golfer on tour. Should Chapultepec prove to be a little tighter than expected, Kuchar is a nice, balanced play who can handle basically anything you put in front of him.
Kevin Na ($15,000, Cash or GPP): Easily the most underrated golfer on tour, Kevin Na again showed that he can hang with the best with a very nice T4 at Riviera, a course that at least slightly resembles this track with Kikuya rough and Poa greens. Like Kuchar, he may not be long, but he’s always capable of sniffing out birdies even on the hardest tracks. Deploy him with confidence.
Good luck in your contests this week, stay disciplined, and trust your process!