Ahead of the first World Golf Championships event of 2019, where the world’s best players will tee it up in Mexico, we take a look at six records that will be on the line in Naucalpan.
1. Xander, again
Xander Schauffele won the last World Golf Championships event, the 2018 WGC-HSBC Champions in China, and arrives in Mexico with a chance to join an elite group. A win for the American would make him just the third player to win consecutive WGC tournaments. Dustin Johnson did so in 2017, winning the WGC-Mexico Championship and the WGC-Dell Match Play. Tiger Woods is the only other player to win back-to-back titles, doing so five times.
2. Phil, again
Having become the oldest winner of a WGC event in Mexico last year, Phil Mickelson will look to become just the third player to successfully defend a World Golf Championships title. Tiger Woods is the only player to accomplish the feat prior, doing so on eight different occasions.
3. More history for Haotong
China’s number one male golfer is racking up a few records early in his career and he could set another historic mark in Mexico. Li Haotong would be the youngest WGC winner in history, aged just 23 years old. If he did triumph it would come 11 days earlier than Patrick Reed’s WGC-Cadillac Championship win in 2014.
4. First timers
With the best players in every field, World Golf Championships events aren’t usually associated with debut winners. In fact, other than the very first WGC event back in 1999, Patrick Reed is the only player to win a World Golf Championships title at the first attempt, back at the 2014 WGC-Cadillac Championship – an extra incentive to those on debut in Central America this year.
5. Putting the world in World Golf Championships
The World Golf Championships were designed to bring together the best talent in golf and they have lived up to that legacy. Coming into 2019, WGC events have been won by 34 players from 14 different countries. Among those countries yet to win one are the likes of Spain, France, China, Canada, Denmark, Thailand and New Zealand, to name just a few. Will we see a 15th country etched into WGC history in Mexico?
6. A WGC 60?
We’ve witnessed some historic rounds at World Golf Championships, most recently a winning, final round 61 by Hideki Matsuyama at the 2017 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. In 20 years of WGCs, three players have shot 61: Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia and Matsuyama. In the last 12 months we’ve witnessed 59s on both the PGA Tour and the European Tour. A WGC 60 might not be too far away.