WGC-Mexico Championship - R2

Johnson edges clear in Mexico

© Getty Images

February 21-24
Chapultepec GC, Mexico City, Mexico
$10,250,000

Round 1, Round 3, Round 4


Dustin Johnson opened up a two shot lead heading into the weekend at the WGC-Mexico Championship but he had a host of European Tour stars chasing him down at Chapultepec Golf Club.

“ I just hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens. My speed has been pretty good with the putter. The greens were really tricky, and I had some really tough flights today, but I have just done a really good job with controlling my distance with my irons and giving myself a lot of looks at birdies.

“I just enjoy playing this kind of golf. It makes you focus. You’ve got to think and you’re doing a lot of calculations with the numbers and trying to figure out how far the ball is going to actually go. I like this golf course. It does set up well for me. It’s pretty narrow, but it’s treelined, so I do like that.”

The American stretched his bogey-free run in Mexico City to 48 holes with a 67 that moved him to 11 under, with fellow American Matt Kuchar and four time Major Championship winner Rory McIlroy his nearest challengers.

“The only time it matters when you’re leading is after the 72nd hole,” said McIlroy. “So much golf to play. This tournament hasn’t even started yet, so I’m in a good position. I played pretty well over the first couple days. Just going to try to play similarly over the weekend and hopefully take advantage of the par fives and some of the shorter par fours and we’ll see where that puts me at the end of the week.

“I feel like I did most things pretty well today. Maybe wasn’t quite as good on the greens, but I think even that hour and a half difference teeing off at 11:30am compared to nearly 1:00pm, it makes a difference, just that extra traffic out there.” 

England’s Tommy Fleetwood carded a 65 to sit at seven under alongside Spaniard Sergio Garcia, one shot clear of England’s Ian Poulter and Australian PGA Championship winner Cameron Smith.

“I obviously got off to a great start birdieing the first three and I hit the ball better than yesterday,” said Garcia. “Yesterday I scrambled really, really well. Today I hit a lot of good tee shots, a lot of good iron shots, gave myself a lot of good birdie chances, rolled a good amount of them in. Anytime you’re making seven birdies in a round, you can’t be disappointed. I’m happy with it and hopefully we’ll keep doing more of the same on the weekend.”

Saudi International powered by SBIA champion Johnson is the only player to have won all four World Golf Championships titles and has claimed this one twice, including its first staging in Mexico City two years ago.


Fleetwood made a spectacular start, driving the first green and pitching in at the second to become the first player in ten years to begin his round eagle-eagle on the European Tour. A 21-foot putt on the eighth helped him turn in 30 and he capitalised on the par fives on the back before surrendering a three-putt on the 17th.

“It’s not something that happens very often, is it? I’ll take it, though. It’s a good way to start, a good way to get a little bit of momentum.

“I think it was good because I didn’t finish very well yesterday, so I sort of played pretty well yesterday. Hit a couple of bad shots towards the end and dropped, so it was nice to actually catapult myself up there early on and kind of just go from there and kind of keep moving forward.”

Tiger Woods carded a 66 with six birdies and a bogey to get to five under but his round will be remembered for his second shot on the ninth. The 14 time Major Championship was in a bunker and blocked out but hit an outrageous slice around the trees and saw his ball hop right and finish 11 feet from the hole.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Tyrrell Hatton, Charles Howell III and Richard Sterne were also six shots off the lead.


Pos.
Player
Nat
To Par
R1
R2
Total
1
Dustin Johnson
USA
-11
64
67
131
T2
Rory McIlroy
NIR
-9
63
70
133
T2
Matt Kuchar
USA
-9
66
67
133
T4
Sergio Garcia
ESP
-7
69
66
135
T4
Tommy Fleetwood
ENG
-7
70
65
135
T6
Cameron Smith
AUS
-6
69
67
136
T6
Ian Poulter
ENG
-6
68
68
136
T8
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
THA
-5
68
69
137
T8
Charles Howell III
USA
-5
69
68
137
T8
Richard Sterne
RSA
-5
69
68
137
T8
Tiger Woods
USA
-5
71
66
137
T8
Tyrrell Hatton
ENG
-5
67
70
137
T13
Louis Oosthuizen
RSA
-4
72
66
138
T13
Francesco Molinari
ITA
-4
71
67
138
T13
Joost Luiten
NED
-4
71
67
138
T16
Jake McLeod
AUS
-3
70
69
139
T16
Patrick Cantlay
USA
-3
72
67
139
T16
David Lipsky
USA
-3
68
71
139
T16
Justin Thomas
USA
-3
66
73
139
T20
Kevin Kisner
USA
-2
73
67
140
T20
Patrick Reed
USA
-2
72
68
140
T20
Erik Van Rooyen
RSA
-2
72
68
140
T20
Shugo Imahira
JPN
-2
73
67
140
T20
Danny Willett
ENG
-2
71
69
140
T25
George Coetzee
RSA
-1
67
74
141
T25
Aaron Wise
USA
-1
73
68
141
T25
Haotong Li
CHN
-1
69
72
141
T28
Gary Woodland
USA
Par
71
71
142
T28
Branden Grace
RSA
Par
71
71
142
T28
Hideki Matsuyama
JPN
Par
72
70
142
T28
Keegan Bradley
USA
Par
69
73
142
T28
Tony Finau
USA
Par
73
69
142
T28
Xander Schauffele
USA
Par
69
73
142
T28
Patton Kizzire
USA
Par
69
73
142
T35
Matthew Fitzpatrick
ENG
1
72
71
143
T35
Abraham Ancer
USA
1
71
72
143
T35
Paul Casey
ENG
1
71
72
143
T35
Brooks Koepka
USA
1
73
70
143
T39
Lee Westwood
ENG
2
73
71
144
T39
Jon Rahm
ESP
2
72
72
144
T39
Rickie Fowler
USA
2
71
73
144
T39
Aaron Rai
ENG
2
70
74
144
T39
Billy Horschel
USA
2
68
76
144
T39
Ryan Fox
NZL
2
72
72
144
T39
Jordan Spieth
USA
2
75
69
144
T39
Phil Mickelson
USA
2
79
65
144
T39
Russell Knox
SCO
2
72
72
144
T48
Alexander Noren
SWE
3
71
74
145
T48
Matt Wallace
ENG
3
74
71
145
T48
Kyle Stanley
USA
3
73
72
145
T48
Rafael Cabrera Bello
ESP
3
76
69
145
T48
Webb Simpson
USA
3
73
72
145
T48
Alexander Bjoerk
SWE
3
75
70
145
T48
Bubba Watson
USA
3
70
75
145
T48
Henrik Stenson
SWE
3
72
73
145
T56
Shane Lowry
IRL
4
70
76
146
T56
Thorbjorn Olesen
DEN
4
72
74
146
T58
Eddie Pepperell
ENG
5
77
70
147
T58
Shubhankar Sharma
IND
5
70
77
147
T58
Tom Lewis
ENG
5
74
73
147
T58
Kevin Na
USA
5
72
75
147
T58
Satoshi Kodaira
JPN
5
75
72
147
63
Bryson DeChambeau
USA
6
75
73
148
64
Emiliano Grillo
ARG
7
76
73
149
T65
Chez Reavie
USA
9
75
76
151
T65
Adrian Otaegui
ESP
9
77
74
151
T65
Byeong-Hun An
KOR
9
77
74
151
T68
Marc Leishman
AUS
10
77
75
152
T68
Lucas Bjerregaard
DNK
10
76
76
152
70
Matthew Millar
AUS
14
74
82
156
T71
Shaun Norris
RSA
17
79
80
159
T71
Sang-Hyun Park
KOR
17
80
79
159