The 2018 PGA Tour is really beginning to hit some good events now in the build-up to the Masters, which takes place at the beginning of April. Many of the big names are now playing regularly as they build up their fitness and tweak their game ahead of what is going to be a busy spell, with many big prizes to be won.
Dustin Johnson returns to the WGC Mexico as defending champion and he will not only be looking to win this event back to back, but he is also going for his third title in four years here, a place that he clearly loves. His main danger could well be Justin Thomas, a player who showed great character when recording two birdies to land the Honda Classic last weekend. The first took the final round to a playoff, and the second won him the playoff at the first opportunity. He is a talented player who is clearly going the right way, and many people will be focusing on him this weekend.
The rest of the field is very strong as you would expect for an event like this, so expect to see and hear about many big names taking to the tee. All of them will be looking to build momentum going into an important period, and all will have their eyes on the prize of over $1.6 million to the winner.
Here is a preview of the event, with a look at those who appear to have a good chance of winning, as well as a look at the current betting for the event.
The Front Runners
As defending champion, Dustin Johnson is sure to get a lot of attention in this one and he will be hoping to rediscover his form from 12 months ago when he was simply unstoppable. Johnson clearly loves this tournament, not only did he win it last year, but he also won it three years before in Miami. That means he is going for both back-to-back titles and three titles from the last four seasons. We have seen Johnson calmly work his way around a golf course despite huge media attention in the past, something he is going to have to do again this weekend.
Justin Thomas is sure to be a popular pick after winning the Honda Classic last weekend. Not only was that his eighth win on the tour, but he has won seven of the last 31 starts he has made, he is clearly a youngster going in the right direction and one to keep on the right side of. He showed great character last weekend, firstly by making a birdie on the last hole to force a playoff, then by making another birdie to win it at the same hole at the first opportunity. There are a lot of people excited about Thomas, with many of them backing him each week and it is clear to see why.
If you want to back someone with great consistency at a big price then you could do a lot worse than backing Swedish player Alex Noren. He is yet to register a victory on the PGA Tour but has many on the European Tour to his name, so don’t let that put you off. He has been edging closer in recent weeks and has now finished in the top three on two of his last four starts. If he keeps knocking on the door like that, one-day things will fall right for him and he will be able to register a victory.
Another player adding huge quality to the field is Spaniard Jon Rahm. He has played the WGC on four occasions now and has shown his liking for these events, with two top-three finishes to his name. One of those top three finishes was a third-place finish here a year ago, with his eyes set on going better than that this time around. Rahm is clearly a hugely talented player, and a big threat to the field is he gets off to a good start on Thursday and Friday.
The final player to mention this weekend is Englishman Tommy Fleetwood. For much of last weekend, he looked to have a great chance of winning the Honda Classic, before dropping away thanks to bogeys on 14 and 15 during his final round. He struggled all week around the greens, and if he wants to win an event like this he has to do better in those areas. However, one area he excelled last weekend was driving accuracy, where he tied for first. If he can pick up that again this weekend, and iron out some issues he has with his putter then he becomes a live threat, even though he faces a very tough field.
Where Can You Watch on TV?
From Thursday 1st March until Sunday 4th March, you can follow extensive live coverage of the WGC Mexico live on Sky Sports. The action is on Sky Sports Golf, as well as Sky Sports Main Event on the final day when the trophy will be won. Coverage begins at 19:00 on Thursday and Friday as players jostle for position in the field, ensuring they do enough to make the cut for the weekend. Then on Saturday and Sunday as the competition heats up, coverage begins at 17:00, so you don’t miss a moment of the action at the crunch stage in what looks set to be a great weekend of golf.
As with pretty much every golf event, the betting for this weekend’s WGC Mexico looks to be wide open. Defending champion Dustin Johnson leads the way, with last week’s winner Justin Thomas in behind him as second favourite. These two are the only competitors in single figures. You can get double figure prices about every other person in the field.
Johnson is a best price of 13/2 with a handful of bookmakers, with many others offering 6/1 on him to win the event. Thomas, fresh off the back of his win last weekend, can be backed at 8/1 generally and after these two, everyone else is a double-figure price.
If you think Alex Noren can claim his first PGA Tour title then he can be backed at 25/1 this week, something a lot of people will see value in after a good run recently. Jon Rahm is another player who should go well this weekend, and he is 12/1 and generally the third favourite for the title behind the Johnson and Thomas. Tommy Fleetwood needs to iron out his putting, but should he do that here then the 18/1 available on him with many bookmakers will look big, he certainly has the ability to win a good event but needs everything to drop right for him.
Looking down through some of the more popular golfers who are taking part this week, Jordan Spieth is available at 14/1 to win here, while Rickie Fowler and Justin Rose are best priced at 22/1 if you think either of those are capable of lifting the prize. Two veterans are also up there. Phil Mickelson’s best price is 25/1, while Spaniard Sergio Garcia can be backed at 28/1 to lift the trophy.
Each Way Betting – 6 Places with Multiple Bookmakers
With such a huge list of players to choose from, each way betting on golf is very popular, and it is a great place to find value. Bookmakers often compete with each other to offer the best each way terms and this coming weekend five of them have enhanced their place terms. Those five bookmakers are paying out on the first six players each way, instead of the first five, so placing a bet with these bookmakers on their each way market gives you more chance of picking a winner.
The five bookmakers enhancing their each way places this weekend are Sun Bet, Betfair, Paddy Power, Betfred and BoyleSports. These are all paying 1/5 odds on the first six places, whereas the rest of the bookmakers are paying out on the first five places.
Acca Insurance on 2/3 Ball Betting – William Hill
Betting on the individual 2 or 3 ball games that are taking place is always extremely popular. This can give you an interest in multiple groups on each day of play, so there will always be something happening on the course that you can cheer on. When placing bets on these games, an accumulator is the most popular way to bet due to the short odds that are on offer. When you place accumulators on these games, you qualify for the acca insurance offer that William Hill have available for their players. Simply place your golf acca with them, and if you select five or more players and your bet loses by just one, you are eligible to receive your money back as a free bet. This will help you get over the agony of missing out on a winner, and will also pay for the next bet you place.