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Weekly Briefing: WGC Mexico

Short one this week on account of some early week travel and a flu bug on the homefront…

Ode to Club de Golf Chapultepec

The WGC Mexico Championship was a welcome tweak to the schedule last season – vivacious crowds, golf at altitude, exotic locale, and the inherent satisfaction that Doral got kicked to the curb. Completely setting aside the entire Trump connection, I hated Doral as a tour venue. It was bland, bomber-friendly, and somewhat depressing with sparse crowds and the message that came through on tv was always “we’re having a tournament here because that’s way we’ve always done it.”   Good riddance.

Club de Golf Chapultepec plays host for the second year in a row and refreshing in a bizarre way. Is it overgrown and a little too short? Absolutely. But I’m willing to overlook that because character and authenticity abound. There are some throwback holes out there, the greens are firm and the corridors provide opportunities for wild recoveries in a way that other back-and-forth courses like Firestone or Torrey do not. I don’t pretend to understand why this is the case or if I’m just giving it a free pass because the galleries are enthusiastic, the altitude is a cool wrinkle, and it rewards exceptional iron play (see: DJ and Fleetwood last year; Louis, X, Rahm, Sergio in the early going this year).

 

On a broader note, getting WGC’s outside of the United States is an essential element – hosting three of the four WORLD Golf Championships domestically left a bad taste. This was an encouraging step in the right direction for the tour (now let’s get one in Japan or back in Oz!)

Will have some additional takes this weekend, but in the early going it’s invigorating to see some of the Euro Tour guys who have been hot on that side of the pond early in the season continuing their form this week – (Paisley and Sharma) and then Aphibarnrat and Lipsky showing up big too. Fresh faces!

Opposite Field FOMO

I may be a sicko but my favorite part of WGC weeks is the requisite opposite field event. Our Euro correspondent, Job Fickett, wrote an endearing piece about this week’s European Tour oppo-taco event in South Africa. I’m bummed that Puerto Rico was cancelled (obviously bigger fish to fry down there right now so it was the right decision) and can’t help but lament the missed opportunity for up-and-comers and the so-called “other half” on TOUR. The PR Open is an annual warm-up for guys to get some solid reps in before the Florida/Texas events, establish momentum, and pad those FEC points for the priority ranking. Look back at past champs/runners-up and notice how many current stars jump-started their careers in PR. Easy to play “what if?”

Will have more as the weekend ramps up – enjoy Friday coverage in the meantime!

About the Author

Tron Carter - NLU's resident curmudgeon, wannabe media critic, fashion crusader, and arbiter of all things "pop." Passionate proponent of taking driver off the deck. Native of Atlanta, now residing in Jacksonville Beach after two quick, but beneficial years in Boston. Other interests include history, infrastructure, wine, and Michael Bay's seminal masterpiece The Rock. Also doing business as "Todd Schuster." [email protected]

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