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It's a long week at the WGC-Mexico Championship

It's a long week at the WGC-Mexico Championship

At 7,800 feet above sea level, the ball flies further than almost any other week at the WGC-Mexico Championship.

Justin Thomas

When the debate about distance is brought up in golf talk always turns to advancements in technology but sometimes mother nature can lend a helping hand.

This week at Chapultepec Golf Club, the ball is flying far further than usual and it is all because of the altitude of our venue.

Higher altitude means thinner air and thinner air means extra yardage for a world class field already hitting the ball huge distances.

On day one, Ryan Fox's drive on the second went 400 yards, with Justin Thomas, Charles Howell III and Dustin Johnson all sending tee shots in excess of 390.

The par four first is not the longest at 316 yards but Johnson reduced it to a five wood, with both Paul Casey and Erik van Rooyen making eagles.

On the range this week, Rory McIlroy was carrying the ball over 350 yards, and the first round leader felt his high ball fight helped him take advantage of the altitude.

"On a couple of the par fives I teed it up high and sort of launched it," he said. "I had a nine iron into the 15th. Even the drive on the eighth hole, getting it up and over the trees, and I hit a nine iron in there, where Gary (Woodland) and Tommy (Fleetwood) were sort of hitting sixes in, so that's a pretty big difference.

"With the driver I can tee it up and I can launch it and maybe get a bit more out of it than some of the other guys and then some of my mid-irons, if I want to launch them up in the air, I can get a little bit more out of them."

But it's not just off the tee that the ball is flying further - just take a look at Pablo Larrazábal's carries with all his clubs.

It's not just in Mexico where the ball flies, South Africa also produces some high altitude golf but the most famous peaks on the European Tour come in Switzerland at the Omega European Masters.

Alex Noren is a two time winner in the mountains and we took some time to speak to him about how to adjust your game when playing so far above sea level.

So will the extra distance prove to be a great equaliser, or will the big-hitters be out of sight in Mexico? We'll find out on Sunday afternoon.

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