The first World Golf Championship of 2020 takes place this weekend, February 20-23, when the WGC-Mexico Championship returns to Mexico City. WGC events (and the Players Championship) are considered to be the most prestigious events outside of the majors and boast some of the largest purses in golf. In addition, WGC events are official money events on both the PGA Tour and the European Tour, as well as providing an opportunity to the best golfers from the next tier of professional tours: The Asian Tour, Japan Tour, PGA Tour of Australasia, and the Sunshine Tour. The field is always strong and this year includes reigning champion Dustin Johnson, world number 1 Rory McIlroy, along with Adam Scott, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, and others.
The tournament was founded in 1999 as the WGC-American Express Championship. The event originally had a truly global feel, and was played in Spain, America, England, and Ireland over the first decade. In 2007, the event moved to the Trump National Doral Miami’s Blue Monster course where it stayed for 10 years. Finally, in 2017 the tournament moved to its current home at Club de Golf Chapultepec in suburban Mexico City and changed its name to the WGC-Mexico Championship. The field is smaller than traditional events with only 72 golfers competing and no cut. Tiger Woods is the undisputed king of the event with 7 wins, including the inaugural event in 1999. Dustin Johnson has won 3 of the past 5 events, with other past champions including Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, and Ernie Els.
Club de Golf Chapultepec enters its 4th year of hosting duties of the WGC-Mexico Championship. The parkland course can be traced back to U.S. Open winner Willie Smith, after the Scottish golfer became club pro at Country Club of Mexico City. Smith began the design, but tragically died before finishing his work. His brother Alex Smith, an accomplished golfer in his own right and 2-time U.S. Open winner, finished the course in 1921. The course was renovated by Percy Clifford in 1972 but stayed true to the Smiths' original design. The course is located over 7,800 feet, making it the highest course on the PGA Tour. The thin air at altitude means that golfers hit longer drives on average than courses closer to sea level.
Tickets are still available and can be had for between $1,500-$3,500 MX Pesos for grounds access. A 3 day pass costs $7,500 MX Pesos and a 5-day passes goes for $9,900 MX Pesos. Youth 12 and younger are also free with a ticketed adult.
Television coverage of the WGC-Mexico Championship is provided by Golf Channel and NBC. Coverage on Thursday and Friday is on Golf Channel, 2-7pm ET. On Saturday, coverage begins on Golf Channel 12-2:30pm ET before switching to NBC from 2:30-6pm ET. The final round is on Sunday 1-2:30pm ET on the Golf Channel before ending on NBC from 2:30-7pm ET. The tournament is also streaming on PGA Tour Live where different streams will follow featured groups and featured holes. Radio commentary can be foung on PGA Tour Radio on SiriusXM satellite radio and streaming onliner at PGATour.com/liveaudio.