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Hot & Cold: Where strokes were won and lost at the WGC-Mexico

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In “Hot & Cold,” we’ll be focusing each week on what specific areas of the game players excelled and disappointed in throughout the previous tournament. Last week, we went south of the border for the WGC-Mexico, and this is where some of the top players in the game gained and lost strokes to the field for the four days of action.

Hot

Dustin Johnson dominated at the WGC-Mexico, and it was his red hot TaylorMade Spider Tour Black putter that separated himself primarily from his closest challenger, Rory McIlroy. Johnson led the field in strokes gained putting in Mexico, gaining a whopping 8.5 strokes over the field for the four days of action with his flat-stick. The second highest strokes gained putting total of his career.

Tiger Woods’ ultra-conservative strategy off the tee looked to hinder the 14-time major champion’s challenge at Club de Golf Chapultepec. Woods’ decision to continually lay back off the tee cost him 4.6 strokes to the field off the tee, so why is he in this category you ask? His iron play. Woods led the field for strokes gained approaching the green at the WGC-Mexico, gaining an impressive 8.3 strokes for his approach play with his TaylorMade P7TW Prototypes. Only three times since 2013 has Woods gained more strokes with his irons than he did last week in Mexico.

Rory McIlroy showed plenty of encouraging signs on his way to a runner-up finish in Mexico, and while the Ulsterman gained strokes in all of the significant strokes gained categories, it’s his numbers off the tee which stand out. McIlroy showed his dominance with his TaylorMade M5 driver, gaining 6.4 strokes over the field off the tee. The 29-year-old has only trumped that number once for his play off the tee since 2017.

Cold

Jordan Spieth’s long game is causing the three-time major champ all sorts of trouble right now. On his way to a disappointing T54 finish at the WGC-Mexico, Spieth lost 3.6 strokes off the tee to land himself in the bottom ten in this category for the week. What’s most concerning is that Spieth has performed worse than he did last week off the tee twice already this season, and the Texan has now lost strokes to the field for his play tee to green in six out of his last seven events.

Making just his second start on the PGA Tour this year, Brooks Koepka struggled mightily on the greens of Club de Golf Chapultepec. With his normally reliable Titleist Scotty Cameron Tour Only T10 Select Newport in hand, the multiple-major champ dropped 5.7 strokes to the field on the greens. It’s the joint most amount of strokes that Koepka has lost with the flat-stick for over a year on the PGA Tour, and perhaps more worryingly is that the American has now dropped strokes to the field on the greens in five of his last six events.

Rounding up the “Cold” list is Bryson DeChambeau. The 25-year-old made the headlines for the wrong reasons in Mexico, after losing his cool and damaging the practice green in frustration. The source of that frustration looked to stem from his short game, which failed to fire all week at the WGC-Mexico. DeChambeau lost a combined 8.2 strokes to the field for the four days for his play around and on the greens. It was DeChambeau’s worst performance thus far in his career around the greens, dropping 3.3 strokes to the field, while on the greens it was his third worst showing, losing almost five strokes for the four days of play.

 

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Gianni is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at gianni@golfwrx.com. Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. freowho

    Feb 26, 2019 at 2:05 am

    More of this please. I would also like to see some articles on how a course suits a certain style of play. The fact Tiger kept laying up cost him suggests it was a course for the good drivers of the ball.

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