Americans don’t get irony, right?
Try telling that to the good folk at the U.S. PGA Tour who have been instrumental in deciding that this week’s World Golf Championship should be played at the Club de Chapultepec, just west of Mexico City. This comes a year after Donald Trump’s Doral course hosted the event in Florida.
Dustin Johnson will tee it up for the first time since topping the world rankings a few weeks ago, but a lot of the focus will be on Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy.
The former No. 1 is set to play competitively for the first time since pulling out of the Abu Dhabi Championships with a rib injury in early January. I say competitively because McIlroy accepted an offer to play a social round with President Trump a couple of weekends ago, a decision that prompted a social media backlash.
It may have escaped Rory’s notice, but The Donald is not the most popular man in Mexico at the moment (I can’t think why…) and his decision is unlikely to please the local audience.
Providing McIlroy escapes being used as a piñata by an enraged fan (a hit with a three iron would sure test those ribs), he is sure to enjoy driving the ball on a course that sits over 2,000 metres above sea level. Remember Bob Beamon jumping out of the long jump pit in the 1968 Olympics.
That said, the Irishman is bound to be rusty having not played since the South African Open in mid January. As talented as McIlroy undoubtedly is, a competitive World Golf Championship is not the arena to try and regain your touch.
Thus the 12/1 generally on offer doesn’t seem to offer particularly good value, especially when you note the form of rivals Dustin Johnson, Jordan Speith, Adam Scott and Rickie Fowler.
A watching brief is advised now, but the time to back Rory will appear, perhaps when there is more love in the room!